Nav: Home

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites

August 10, 2018

Over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, the magical nature has given birth to a myriad of biological materials which serve either as the skeletons of the organisms or as defensive or offensive weapons. Although these natural structural materials are derived from relatively sterile natural components, such as fragile minerals and ductile biopolymers, they often exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties due to their highly ordered hierarchical structures and sophisticated interfacial design. Therefore, they are always the main object for researchers to investigate and imitate aiming to create advanced artificial structural materials.

Through microstructural observation, we can find that many biological materials, including fish scale, crab claw and bone, all have typical twisted plywood structure that consists of highly ordered arrangement of micro/nanoscale fiber lamellas. They are structurally sophisticated natural fiber reinforced composites and often exhibit excellent damage tolerance that is urgently needed but difficult to be obtained for engineering structural materials. Therefore, fully mimicking this kind of natural hierarchical structure and interfacial design, by using artificial synthetic and abundant one-dimensional micro/nanoscale fibers as building blocks, is expected to produce high-performance new-style artificial structural materials that are expected to exceed existing engineering structural materials. However, due to the lack of micro/nanoscale assembly technology, especially the lack of means to efficiently integrate one-dimensional micro/nanoscale structural units into macroscopic bulk form, mimicking natural fiber reinforced composites has always been a major challenge, and there has rarely been reported so far.

In response to this challenge, recently, inspired by the micro/nanoscale twisted plywood structure of the natural Arapaima giga scale armour (a-d), for the first time, the biomimetic research team led by Professor Shu-Hong Yu from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) proposed a high-efficient bottom-up 'brushing-and-laminating' assembly strategy (e-f) with the biocompatible micro/nanofibers as structural units, successfully fabricated three-dimensional bulk biomimetic twisted plywood structural materials (g). Through hierarchically controlling the fiber alignment in the biopolymer matrix, the mechanical properties of resultant materials can be precisely modulated. It was found that the obtained artificial materials highly replicate the multiscale structure and toughening mechanisms of their natural counterparts, realizing excellent mechanical properties far beyond fundamental structural components and can be comparable with those of natural bone and many other natural and artificial materials. More importantly, the proposed assembly strategy is eco-friendly, programmed and scalable, and can be easily extended to other materials systems. Therefore, it provides a new technological space for designing more advanced biomimetic fiber reinforced structural materials (especially armour protection materials).
See the article:

Biomimetic Twisted Plywood Structural materials
Natl Sci Rev 2018; doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwy080

The National Science Review is the first comprehensive scholarly journal released in English in China that is aimed at linking the country's rapidly advancing community of scientists with the global frontiers of science and technology. The journal also aims to shine a worldwide spotlight on scientific research advances across China.

Science China Press

Related Building Blocks Articles:

Peanut family secret for making chemical building blocks revealed
The peanut and its kin -- legumes -- have not one, but two ways to make the amino acid tyrosine.
Two simple building blocks produce complex 3-D material
Northwestern University scientists have built a structurally complex material from two simple building blocks that is the lowest-density metal-organic framework ever made.
In experiments on Earth, testing possible building blocks of alien life
Extraterrestrial life, if it exists, could use different amino acid building blocks than living things here on Earth.
Dwarf star 200 light years away contains life's building blocks
Many scientists believe the Earth was initially dry and that water, carbon and nitrogen -- the building blocks for life -- likely came as a result of collisions with objects that began their lives in the cold outer reaches of our solar system.
World's smallest radio receiver has building blocks the size of 2 atoms
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have made the world's smallest radio receiver -- built out of an assembly of atomic-scale defects in pink diamonds.
Genetic signaling pathway blocks formation of a cancer in the cerebellum
A signaling pathway has the potential to block a type of cancer in the cerebellum, suggests new research from a team at the Krembil Research Institute's Donald K.
Nanoscale engineering transforms particles into 'LEGO-like' building blocks
Researchers have developed a nanoscale engineering method that transforms tiny particles into 'LEGO-like' modular building blocks.
New knowledge about the building blocks of life
A study of an enzyme that helps build and repair DNA in living organisms increases our understanding of how these processes are controlled and how we can use this to combat infections.
Recycling carbon dioxide: U of T researchers reduce climate-warming CO2 to building blocks for fuels
Turning carbon dioxide into stored energy sounds like science fiction: researchers have long tried to find simple ways to convert this greenhouse gas into fuels and other useful chemicals.
Flexible building blocks of the future
A discovery by Tel Aviv University researchers may lead to more close-fitting, comfortable and user-friendly prosthetics.

Related Building Blocks Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
Our modern lives run on plastic. It's in the computers and phones we use. It's in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it's devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the 2019 Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., where Bethany Brookshire sat down with three plastics researchers - Christina Simkanin, Chelsea Rochman, and Jennifer Provencher - and a live audience to discuss plastics in our oceans. Where they are, where they are going, and what they carry with them. Related links:...