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Nat Mater. 2014 May;13(5):508-14. doi: 10.1038/nmat3915. Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Strong, tough and stiff bioinspired ceramics from brittle constituents.

Author information

1
1] Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques, UMR3080 CNRS/Saint-Gobain, Cavaillon F-69621, France [2] Université de Lyon, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS CNRS UMR5510, Villeurbanne 84306, France.
2
Université de Lyon, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS CNRS UMR5510, Villeurbanne 84306, France.
3
Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon 69364, France.
4
Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques, UMR3080 CNRS/Saint-Gobain, Cavaillon F-69621, France.

Abstract

High strength and high toughness are usually mutually exclusive in engineering materials. In ceramics, improving toughness usually relies on the introduction of a metallic or polymeric ductile phase, but this decreases the material's strength and stiffness as well as its high-temperature stability. Although natural materials that are both strong and tough rely on a combination of mechanisms operating at different length scales, the relevant structures have been extremely difficult to replicate. Here, we report a bioinspired approach based on widespread ceramic processing techniques for the fabrication of bulk ceramics without a ductile phase and with a unique combination of high strength (470 MPa), high toughness (22 MPa m(1/2)), and high stiffness (290 GPa). Because only mineral constituents are needed, these ceramics retain their mechanical properties at high temperatures (600 °C). Our bioinspired, material-independent approach should find uses in the design and processing of materials for structural, transportation and energy-related applications.

PMID:
24658117
DOI:
10.1038/nmat3915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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