162. structure and mechanical behavior of elasmoid fish scales

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Marc A. Meyers

Primary Student
Name: Haocheng Quan
Email: haquan@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-900-4257
Grad Year: 2019

The fish scale has outstanding strength, toughness and flexibility that attract increasing research interest to mimic them as a bio-inspired body armour. Among all types of fish scales, elasmoid scale is the prevailing one that most of the fish living now has such type of scales. Coelacanth, as a ?living fossil?, which rarely changed their morphology in last 400 million years, has ?primitive? type of elasmoid scales. Carp, one of the most common fish living now, has a typical ?modern? type of elasmoid scales. Although the overall structure of Coelacanth scales and Carp scales are similar, which has mineralized outer layer and laminated inner layer made of collagen fibers, there are lot of distinct difference between them, including the surface morphology, collagen fibers arrangement and mineralization. Among these differences, the most notable one is the collagen fiber arrangement and it significantly affects the mechanical adaptability of microstructure of the scales. We applied in situ synchrotron SAXS (small angle x-ray scattering) to characterize the collagen fibrils rotation and stretching when the tissue is in tension and analyzed the different mechanical adaptability mechanisms between the ?primitive? type of elasmoid scales and ?modern? elasmoid scales. These different deformations revealed the fundamental strengthening and toughening mechanisms of the different elasmoid scales and could provide better insight for designing advanced body-armor composite.

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