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Microsc Res Tech. 2019 Mar 20. doi: 10.1002/jemt.23256. [Epub ahead of print]

Morphology and mechanical properties of the dorsal bony plates in the Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis).

Zheng Y1,2, Guo C1,2, Li L1,2, Ma Y1,2.

Author information

1
College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, 210016, China.
2
Institute of Bio-inspired Structure and Surface Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, 210016, China.

Abstract

The morphology, composition, and mechanical properties of the dorsal bony plates in the Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) were determined in this study. Scanning electron microscopy images of the bony plates revealed a ridge-like shape similar to that of traditional Chinese architecture and displayed hierarchical microstructures whose the degree of mineralization decreased from the surface layer to the internal layer. Moreover, the crests in the central part of the bony plates displayed porous characteristics. Composition analysis of the bony plates revealed that they were primarily composed of Ca, P, O, and C, demonstrating that hydroxyapatite was the main constituent. Mechanical experiments including nanoindentation, penetration, and tension tests confirmed that the bony plates have excellent mechanical properties and present high specific tensile strength that is comparable to that of 304 stainless steel. This study may provide a new bionic design template for lightweight and high-strength body armor.

KEYWORDS:

bionic; bony plates; flexible armor; mechanical properties; microstructure

PMID:
30892808
DOI:
10.1002/jemt.23256

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