While most people would squirm at the sight of fire ants, engineers get excited. They are studying  fire ants, specifically the way they form floating rafts in water during floods, in order to someday build self healing material. This material would be able to “heal” infrastructure needing repairs such as bridges and buildings.





Fire Ants Are Inspiring Building Materials of the Future

Hu and his colleagues applied different pressures on groups of ants and found that, collectively, they can respond like both a solid and a liquid. When the researchers pushed a raft of ants underwater, they sprang back up and returned to their original …

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