No, we have not suddenly morphed into some sci-fi fantasy but a real possibility identified by a team of scientists including those from Australia’s National Science Agency.

They have confirmed the existence of lonsdaleite on ureilite meteors from the dwarf planet’s mantle.
Lonsdaleite is a rare, hexagonal-shaped diamond which is far stronger and harder than their earth developed cubic-shaped relatives. So what potential could this discovery have for machine parts?

If we could find a substance that would create far harder machine parts, that would translate into greater longevity and enhanced precision. This would obviously have welcome implications for gear manufacturers and the rest of the manufacturing sector.

What’s more, we may not need to go to the other side of the solar system to make use of it. Research led by Monash University offers options for the synthetic production of a lonsdaleite substitute that could be used to make more durable machine parts.

CSIRO scientist Colin MacRae said the discovery could have implications for industries like mining. “If something that is harder than a diamond can be manufactured readily, that’s something industry would want to know about.”

Londaleite formed from a supercritical fluid at high temperature and moderate pressure. If a similar process can be replicated in synthetic production then that really could pave the way for a new generation of manufacturing tools.

Please read more on the study and its collaborators here.