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Is glass the only material you can break with sound?

  1. Oct 25, 2014 #1
    Would it be possible to use a 3D printer to print plastic (PLA for example) that could be smashed or warped by sound under 110dBs?

    I'm a biologist, trying to recreate what happens to hair cells in the inner ear when you damage them.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi TB. http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5725/red5e5etimes5e5e45e5e25.gif [Broken]

    I think any sufficiently fragile resonant vessel could be made to break using sound, if made of a suitable brittle material, e.g., sulfur, salt crystals, egg shell, ice, whatever. Every material will warp or distort by sound waves when formed into such a shape, you just need it to be brittle and not highly absorbant of sound energy so that oscillations can build up until the material at some point overstresses and fractures, i.e., you need it high Q.

    As to your printer question, I can't help. Though it may be feasible to use liquid helium to freeze some soft material and turn it into something brittle.

    Good luck with your experiments!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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