Can Something Be Truly Indestructible?

Earth MaterialMuch goes into the process of ensuring that products are fit for the modern market. Product reliability testing is a critical part of a typical manufacturing process. With the likes of a HAST highly accelerated stress test, consumers can be assured of durable, long-lasting items with every purchase.

Almost all products undergo an equally varied series of tests. These processes intend to determine certain limits of a product. There are five broad categories: lower destruct limit, lower operating limit, the product’s operational specifications, and its upper operating and destruction limits. Continuous application of stress establishes a product’s durability. Obviously, a product’s individual area of use dictates how durable it should be. Specific situations may even call for the creation of an ‘indestructible’ item.

But is there anything natural or man-made in the world that’s truly indestructible? The title of the strongest natural substance probably belongs to the diamond. Its name literally comes from an ancient Greek word which means ‘invincible.’ The truth about the diamond, however, is that it’s merely the world’s hardest substance. It means that diamonds are extremely tough to scratch. They can surely be cut and finished into gems. Otherwise, there would be no polished stones on jewelry.

Graphene is presumably the closest anything comes to indestructibility. It is a man-made sheet that stretches like rubber, conducts heat and electricity much better than copper, and is touted to be 200 times stronger than steel. The scientists responsible for its creation are now Nobel Prize winners. Experts believe that its incredible strength opens up a ton of opportunities.

Its structure makes graphene the thinnest material ever. But despite this, its strength is amazing for a super-thin, stretchy material. Its creators say that it’s strong enough to support the weight of a fully grown adult elephant. They say that the only way to break graphene is to make an elephant stand on top of a pencil, then place the two in a position to pierce a sheet. Regarding absolute indestructibility, however, this situation still renders graphene destructible on certain parameters.

Nothing on Earth, artificial or natural, is truly indestructible. Perhaps one discovery or invention will come along, but it’s an uncertain prospect.