Composite materials are widely used to build structures for their great mechanical performance combined with a low weight. However, the relatively low toughness of some composite materials is often a limitation as it can cause sudden failure. At present, there is a need for new lightweight materials with a good combination of strength and toughness, to be used for a variety of structural applications. Strength and toughness are the key requirements for structural materials. However, they are often mutually exclusive. Examples of effective design solutions can be found in natural materials, showing an optimal strength-toughness balance. Such materials can be a good source of inspiration for the design of new smart materials, by following a biomimetic approach. Among natural materials, bone tissue is an intriguing one. Bone combines few meagre constituents, hydroxyapatite and collagen, as building blocks to build up a complex hierarchical structure, reaching remarkable mechanical properties and a large amplification in toughness not observed in synthetic counterparts. For this reason, bone can be considered as a biomimetic model material that many researchers have recently tried to mimic adopting different techniques. In this study, we take inspiration from bone to design and manufacture new FRC (fiber-reinforced composite) materials inspired by the microstructure of cortical bone, with the aim of mimicking some toughening mechanisms and improving the toughness of conventional composites. We focus on the microstructural level, since the fundamental toughening mechanisms occur at the microscale, and we mimic the main features involved in the fracture process in our new design. The choice of the key features to be mimicked in the biomimetic material design process is guided by a previous experimental campaign performed on bovine cortical bone. Here we describe the design of a new bio-inspired material and an experimental campaign to assess the mechanical performance and the failure modes. The results of the tests allow us to confirm the promising mechanical characteristics of such material, compared to our previous design solutions and to similar classic structural composites (e.g. laminates). Moreover, the failure modes show many similarities with some of the toughening mechanisms occurring in cortical bone, confirming the key role, played by the mimicked bone-inspired microstructural features, in determining and enhancing the fracture toughness of the composites.

Cortical Bone as a Biomimetic Model for the Design of New Composites

LIBONATI, FLAVIA;VERGANI, LAURA MARIA
2016

Abstract

Composite materials are widely used to build structures for their great mechanical performance combined with a low weight. However, the relatively low toughness of some composite materials is often a limitation as it can cause sudden failure. At present, there is a need for new lightweight materials with a good combination of strength and toughness, to be used for a variety of structural applications. Strength and toughness are the key requirements for structural materials. However, they are often mutually exclusive. Examples of effective design solutions can be found in natural materials, showing an optimal strength-toughness balance. Such materials can be a good source of inspiration for the design of new smart materials, by following a biomimetic approach. Among natural materials, bone tissue is an intriguing one. Bone combines few meagre constituents, hydroxyapatite and collagen, as building blocks to build up a complex hierarchical structure, reaching remarkable mechanical properties and a large amplification in toughness not observed in synthetic counterparts. For this reason, bone can be considered as a biomimetic model material that many researchers have recently tried to mimic adopting different techniques. In this study, we take inspiration from bone to design and manufacture new FRC (fiber-reinforced composite) materials inspired by the microstructure of cortical bone, with the aim of mimicking some toughening mechanisms and improving the toughness of conventional composites. We focus on the microstructural level, since the fundamental toughening mechanisms occur at the microscale, and we mimic the main features involved in the fracture process in our new design. The choice of the key features to be mimicked in the biomimetic material design process is guided by a previous experimental campaign performed on bovine cortical bone. Here we describe the design of a new bio-inspired material and an experimental campaign to assess the mechanical performance and the failure modes. The results of the tests allow us to confirm the promising mechanical characteristics of such material, compared to our previous design solutions and to similar classic structural composites (e.g. laminates). Moreover, the failure modes show many similarities with some of the toughening mechanisms occurring in cortical bone, confirming the key role, played by the mimicked bone-inspired microstructural features, in determining and enhancing the fracture toughness of the composites.
Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Fracture
Biomimetics, Cortical bone, Thoughening mechanisms, Composites, FRC
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1018661
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