Novel synthetic material mimicking mechanisms from natural nacre

Allison Juster, Felix Latourte, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The biomimetics field has become very popular as Mother Nature creates materials with superior strength and toughness out of relatively weak material constituents. This concept is attractive because current synthetic materials have yet to achieve this level of performance from the same weak material constituents. Nacre, from Red Abalone shells, is among the natural materials exhibiting outstanding toughness, while being comprised of a brick and mortar structure of 95% brittle ceramic tablets and 5% soft organic biopolymer mortar. During loading, that tablets slide relative to each other. This generates progressive interlocking which constitutes nacre's primary toughening mechanism [1, 2]. We have translated this concept of tablet sliding and interlocking to create a novel composite material. Fabrication of the material will be discussed as well as design parameters. Results from tensile tests will be presented as well as comparison of the synthetic material to natural nacre. Implications to the synthetic materials community will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperimental and Applied Mechanics - Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781441994974
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 7 2010Jun 10 2010

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652


Other2010 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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