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Lamellar architectures in stiff biomaterials may not always be templates for enhancing toughness in composites.


ABSTRACT: The layered architecture of stiff biological materials often endows them with surprisingly high fracture toughness in spite of their brittle ceramic constituents. Understanding the link between organic-inorganic layered architectures and toughness could help to identify new ways to improve the toughness of biomimetic engineering composites. We study the cylindrically layered architecture found in the spicules of the marine sponge Euplectella aspergillum. We cut micrometer-size notches in the spicules and measure their initiation toughness and average crack growth resistance using flexural tests. We find that while the spicule's architecture provides toughness enhancements, these enhancements are relatively small compared to prototypically tough biological materials, like nacre. We investigate these modest toughness enhancements using computational fracture mechanics simulations.

SUBMITTER: Monn MA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6969223 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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