Multiscale materials design of natural exoskeletons : fish armor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Mary C. Boyce and Christine Ortiz.
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Biological materials have developed hierarchical and heterogeneous material nanostructures and microstructures to provide protection against various environmental threats that, in turn, provide bioinspired clues to man-made, protective material designs. In particular, designs of dermal fish armor are a tradeoff between protection and mobility. A comprehensive knowledge base of the materials and mechanical design principles of fish armor has broad applicability to the development of synthetic engineered protective/flexible materials. In this thesis, two fish armor model systems have been investigated by means of structure-property-function relationships, ultimately answering how the armor systems have been designed in response to their environmental threats. The first model system, Polypterus senegalus are descendants of ancient fish and their body is covered by a natural armor consisting of small bony scales. The quadlayered armor scales are composed of ganoine, dentin, isopedine and bone, to protect against predatory biting attacks. First of all, multilayer design principles of P. senegalus scales were understood with respect to penetration resistance by the multiscale experimental and computational study. The quad-layered scales exhibit mechanical gradient within and between material layers and have geometrically corrugated junctions with an undetectable gradation; all of which lead to effective penetration resistance including load-dependent effective material properties, circumferential surface cracking, plastic dissipation in the underlying dentin layer, stress redistribution around the interfaces with suppression of interfacial failure. Secondly, since the outmost ganoine is structurally anisotropic, the roles of anisotropy of ganoine in the entire system have been investigated by combining orientation-dependant indentation and mechanical modeling. The elastic-plastic anisotropy of the ganoine layer enhances the load-dependent penetration resistance of the multilayered armor compared with the isotropic ganoine layer mainly by (i) enhancing the transmission of stress and dissipation to the underlying dentin layer, (ii) lowering the ganoine/dentin interfacial stresses and hence reducing any propensity toward delamination, and (iii) providing discrete structural pathways for cracks to propagate normal to the surface for easy arrest by the underlying dentin layer. Inspired by P. senegalus scales, threat-protection interaction and structurefunction relationships among various layered armor systems have been investigated using parametric studies with finite element (FE) models. Geometry, microstructure and mechanical properties of a threat system significantly influence its ability to effectively penetrate into the armor system or to be defeated by the armor. Simultaneously, three structure parameters of multilayered armor designs are mainly considered: (i) the thickness of the outmost layer; (ii) the quad-layered vs. bilayer structure; and (iii) the sequence of the outer two layers. The role of the armor microstructure in defeating threats as well as providing avenues of energy dissipation to withstand biting attacks is identified. Microstructural length scale and material property matching between the threat and armor is clearly observed. Bilayered and quadlayred models are mechanically comparable, but the quad-layer model achieves a weight reduction. Studies of predatorprey threat-protection interactions may lead to insights into tunability in mechanical functionality of each system in conjunction with adaptive phenotypic plasticity of the tooth and scale microstructure and geometry, "adaptive stalemates," and the so-called evolutionary "arms race." The second model system, Gasterosteus aculeatus, is well-known for light-weight and morphologically varied armor structure among different G. aculeatus populations. Marine and freshwater G. aculeatus armor structures have been assessed quantitatively by micro-computed tomography ([mu]CT) technique. The convolution of plate geometry in conjunction with plate-to-plate overlap allows a relatively constant armor thickness to be maintained throughout the assembly, promoting spatially homogeneous protection and thereby avoiding weakness at the armor unit interconnections. Plate-to-plate junctures act to register and join the plates while permitting compliance in sliding and rotation in selected directions. SEM and [mu]CT revealed a porous, sandwich-like cross-section of lateral plates beneficial for bending stiffness and strength at minimum weight. Moreover, the structural parameters of the pelvic assemblies were also quantified via pCT, which include the spatial dependence of the suture amplitude and frequency, the suture plate inclination angle, and the suture gap. Significant differences in these structural parameters were observed between the different G. aculeatus populations. Composite analytical and finite element computational models were developed and used in conjunction with the pCT data to simulate the mechanical behavior of the pelvic assembly, to predict the effective suture stiffness and to understand the conformational change of the pelvic assembly from the "rest" to "offensive" states. This study elucidates the structural and functional differences between different divergent populations of G. aculeatus and serves as a model for other systems of interest in evolutionary biology.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, 2011.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-282).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.