Narce Composites, Methods of Synthesis, and Methods of Use

Horacio Espinosa (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


The invention is a ceramic composite design that mimics features of Mother of Pearl ("Nacre") in order to increase ceramic toughness. Abstract Ceramic materials have many attractive engineering qualities such as stiffness, hardness, wear resistance, and resistance to high temperatures. The primary obstacle to a wider use of ceramics in engineering applications is their brittleness. The invention consists of 95% or more of ceramic material, yet is capable of deformation strains in excess of 10%. Also, the design is such that rather than failing at one location, damage is distributed over large volumes of material - improving the ability to resist, and even stop crack propagation. The invention retains the attractive properties of ceramic composites, but is 5-10 times tougher than the same material in "bulk" form. This level far surpasses increases reported by prior art that also attempts to mimic Nacre.
Original languageEnglish
Patent number8067078
StatePublished - Nov 29 2011


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