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Material toughness scrutinised with microscopy and 3D mapping

cracks in brittle objects

The scientists induced cracks in hydrogel samples with a standard Swiss Army knife (image: EMSI EPFL CC BY SA)

To understand how cracks propagate in brittle solids, a Swiss Army knife and confocal microscope were used to create a three-dimensional map of each fracture surface, advancing understanding of materials used for construction, sports, and aerospace engineering

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