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Nat Mater. 2015 Jan;14(1):23-36. doi: 10.1038/nmat4089. Epub 2014 Oct 26.

Bioinspired structural materials.

Author information

1
Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.
2
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
3
Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics, Department of Materials, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
4
1] Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Department of Materials Science &Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

Natural structural materials are built at ambient temperature from a fairly limited selection of components. They usually comprise hard and soft phases arranged in complex hierarchical architectures, with characteristic dimensions spanning from the nanoscale to the macroscale. The resulting materials are lightweight and often display unique combinations of strength and toughness, but have proven difficult to mimic synthetically. Here, we review the common design motifs of a range of natural structural materials, and discuss the difficulties associated with the design and fabrication of synthetic structures that mimic the structural and mechanical characteristics of their natural counterparts.

PMID:
25344782
DOI:
10.1038/nmat4089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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