Biomimetic shatterproof ceramics
The MIT Tech Review published an article last week on a new type of engineered ceramic from UC Berekeley that is tough and resilient instead of the usual brittle stuff that allows cracks to propagate. They did this by engineering the structure to be more like that of mother of pearl found in abalone shells. While they laud it for its high performance applications, we are quite interested in it as a long lasting material for the 10,000 Year Clock. We already plan on using engineered ceramics for bearings and other wear components, but the elimination of ceramics only real drawback, that it can shatter, really opens up the engineering possibilities.
(Via Long Views)