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Failure mode transition in natural mineralized composites

  • Reza Rabiei (a1), Sacheen Bekah (a1) and Francois Barthelat (a1)

Abstract

Mineralized biological materials such as nacre and bone achieve remarkable combinations of stiffness and toughness through staggered arrangements of stiff components bonded by softer materials. These natural composites are therefore substantial source of inspiration for emerging synthetic materials. In order to gain new insights into structureperformance relationships of these staggered structures, nacres from four species were compared in terms of fracture toughness and damage propagation pattern. Fracture tests revealed that all nacres display rising crack resistance curves, but to different extents. Using in-situ optical and atomic force microscopy, two distinct patterns of damage propagation were identified in columnar and sheet nacre respectively. These two different patterns were further confirmed by means of large scale numerical models of staggered structures. Similar mechanisms possibly operate at the smallest scales of the microstructure of bone.

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Keywords

Failure mode transition in natural mineralized composites

  • Reza Rabiei (a1), Sacheen Bekah (a1) and Francois Barthelat (a1)

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