exploration of fracture and impact resistance of biological materials
Name: Audrey Josephina Velasco-Hogan
Grad Year: 2021
The ocean possesses a cornucopia of organisms that thrive through ingenious strategies and provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for innovation. Whale baleen represents one such highly developed structure; it ensures life-long filter-feeding (40-100 years) for baleen whales in place of teeth due to exceptional fracture and impact resistance. Our study uncovers the predominant toughening mechanisms of crack deflection in fracture and reveals how the hierarchical tubular structure contributes to impact resistance. In addition, we create prototypes through three-dimensional (3D) printing which replicate the structure and mechanical advantages; furthermore, we fabricate baleen-inspired tubular composites through an integrated manufacturing of 3D printing, electrospinning and vacuum- assisted infusion and consolidation, which show twice the density-normalized modulus of the solid film material, and exhibit promising applications where toughness and strength with favorable weight savings are sought, e.g., wave energy devices, autonomous underwater vehicles.
Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Materials