The researchers constructed scales with a 3D printer and added them to a soft impact-resistant material to create armour that has extra structural stiffening.
BMW says their prototypes designed from nature are up to 20% lighter, tougher and more stable than conventional materials.
They claim gloves and protective inserts made from bionic materials could protect workers on the assembly line from sharp-edged car-body parts. No doubt they would also protect riders.
“The low weight, breathable design and flexibility of the research models mean that movement is barely restricted,” BMW says in a press release.
Cheaper riding gear
Future BMW riding gear may not only be lighter and offer better protection, but also be cheaper. Although, BMW riding gear could never be accused of being cheap!
“They can be produced economically and processed for the intended purposes,” their release says.
“The high level of functional efficiency achieved by biologically-inspired protective equipment also saves material. This not only makes both product and production more sustainable, but also less expensive.”