Lessons from the Ocean

Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance

Bin Wang*, Tarah N. Sullivan, Andrei Pissarenko, Alireza Zaheri, Horacio Dante Espinosa, Marc A. Meyers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whale baleen is a keratin-based biological material; it provides life-long (40–100 years) filter-feeding for baleen whales in place of teeth. This study reveals new aspects of the contribution of the baleen's hierarchical structure to its fracture toughness and connects it to the unique performance requirements, which require anisotropy of fracture resistance. Baleen plates are subjected to competing external effects of hydration and varying loading rates and demonstrate a high fracture toughness in transverse loading, which is the most important direction in the filtering function; in the longitudinal direction, the toughness is much lower since delamination and controlled flexure are expected and desirable. The compressive strength is also established and results support the fracture toughness measurements: it is also highly anisotropic, and exhibits a ductile-to-brittle transition with increasing strain rate in the dry condition, which is absent in the hydrated condition, conferring impact resistance to the baleen. Using 3D-printing prototypes that replicate the three principal structural features of the baleen plate (hollow medulla, mineralized tubules, and sandwich-tubular structure) are created, and the role of its structure in determining its mechanical behavior is demonstrated. These findings suggest new bioinspired engineering materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1804574
JournalAdvanced Materials
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 18 2019

Fingerprint

Fracture toughness
Keratin
Impact resistance
Keratins
Delamination
Hydration
Biological materials
Compressive strength
Toughness
Printing
Strain rate
Anisotropy
Direction compound

Keywords

  • baleen
  • fracture toughness
  • impact resistance
  • keratin
  • sandwich-tubular structure
  • whale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Wang, B., Sullivan, T. N., Pissarenko, A., Zaheri, A., Espinosa, H. D., & Meyers, M. A. (2019). Lessons from the Ocean: Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance. Advanced Materials, 31(3), [1804574]. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201804574
Wang, Bin ; Sullivan, Tarah N. ; Pissarenko, Andrei ; Zaheri, Alireza ; Espinosa, Horacio Dante ; Meyers, Marc A. / Lessons from the Ocean : Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance. In: Advanced Materials. 2019 ; Vol. 31, No. 3.
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Wang, B, Sullivan, TN, Pissarenko, A, Zaheri, A, Espinosa, HD & Meyers, MA 2019, 'Lessons from the Ocean: Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance', Advanced Materials, vol. 31, no. 3, 1804574. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201804574

Lessons from the Ocean : Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance. / Wang, Bin; Sullivan, Tarah N.; Pissarenko, Andrei; Zaheri, Alireza; Espinosa, Horacio Dante; Meyers, Marc A.

In: Advanced Materials, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1804574, 18.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance

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AU - Sullivan, Tarah N.

AU - Pissarenko, Andrei

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AU - Espinosa, Horacio Dante

AU - Meyers, Marc A.

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Wang B, Sullivan TN, Pissarenko A, Zaheri A, Espinosa HD, Meyers MA. Lessons from the Ocean: Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance. Advanced Materials. 2019 Jan 18;31(3). 1804574. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201804574