Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Carlos Coimbra | Marc A. Meyers

Primary Student
Name: Yinghao Chu
Email: ychu@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-888-3012
Grad Year: 2015

Vegetable ivory (also known as Jarina or Tagua nuts) is the dried endosperm of the Phytelephas palms nuts, which is a hard material with appearance and some other key characteristics that resemble elephant ivory. Little is known about this renewable material behavior. Here we study the internal structure and mechanical properties of the Jarina nut, and compare these properties to elephant ivory. Unlike elephant ivory, the vegetable ivory does not have complex hierarchy internal structure and can be treated as an isotropic material if we are able to chemically synthesize it and remove rapid drying lacuna and internal pores. Our test suggest that the hardness and elastic modulus of vegetable ivory is not as high as elephant ivory and some widely available plastics (such as ABS). However, its appearance, overall quality of the mechanical properties and conformability, make the Jarina nut a good candidate for alleviating the pressure on the illegal trade of elephant ivory.

Related Files:

  1. Abstractforposterconference.doc

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