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Uncovering High-Strain Rate Protection Mechanism in Nacre
Scientific Reports
  • Zaiwang Huang
  • Haoze Li
  • Zhiliang Pan
  • Qiuming Wei
  • Yuh-Jin Chao, University of South Carolina - Columbia
  • Xiaodong Li, University of South Carolina - Columbia
Publication Date
11-8-2011
Document Type
Article
Abstract

Under high-strain-rate compression (strain rate ~103 s−1), nacre (mother-of-pearl) exhibits surprisingly high fracture strength vis-à-vis under quasi-static loading (strain rate 10−3 s−1). Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism responsible for such sharply different behaviors in these two loading modes remains completely unknown. Here we report a new deformation mechanism, adopted by nacre, the best-ever natural armor material, to protect itself against predatory penetrating impacts. It involves the emission of partial dislocations and the onset of deformation twinning that operate in a well-concerted manner to contribute to the increased high-strain-rate fracture strength of nacre. Our findings unveil that Mother Nature delicately uses an ingenious strain-rate-dependent stiffening mechanism with a purpose to fight against foreign attacks. These findings should serve as critical design guidelines for developing engineered body armor materials.

Citation Information
Zaiwang Huang, Haoze Li, Zhiliang Pan, Qiuming Wei, et al.. "Uncovering High-Strain Rate Protection Mechanism in Nacre" Scientific Reports Vol. 1 (2011) p. #148
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/xiaodong_li/31/