ATMs or Automated Teller Machines are very prone to attacks that attempt to break and steal money. A research team from ETH Zurich is set to fight such attacks by introducing a new technology that derives inspiration from a Bombardier Beetle insect. This technology can be used to develop a strong chemical defense mechanism for ATMs. When threatened, the bombardier beetle releases a caustic spray, accompanied by a popping sound. This spray is released as an explosion that occurs because of catalytic enzymes from two separately stored chemicals in the beetle's abdomen. This spray is capable of killing ants and scaring off frogs. Yep.Drawing inspiration from nature's amazing support system for the insect, the researchers have developed a special film that triggers an intense reaction when destroyed.
Wendelin Jan Stark, a professor from the ETH Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, and his team have developed a new self-defending surface composed of several sandwich-like layers of plastic that sport a honeycomb structure. The hollow spaces in this structure are filled with either of the two chemicals: hydrogen peroxide or manganese dioxide. When subjected to an impact, the interlayer is destroyed, causing the hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide to mix. This triggers a violent reaction that produces water vapour, oxygen and heat. This mixture called as hot foam is sprayed in the face of the attacker.
With an aim to replace complicated control systems with cleverly designed materials, the research team. With their Lab's experiments with 5 euro banknotes, the researchers have shown that the method is effective. The price is reasonable too. One square meter of film costs approximately USD 40.
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Source: ETH Zurich Research
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