Computational Investigation of the Mechanical Response of a Bioinspired Nacre-like Nanocomposite under Three-Point Bending




Yang, Xingzi
Rumi, Md Jalal Uddin
Zeng, Xiaowei

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Natural biological nanocomposites, like nacre, demonstrate extraordinary fracture toughness, surpassing their base materials, attributed to their intricate staggered hierarchical architectures integrating hard and soft phases. The enhancement of toughness in these composites is often linked to the crack-deflection mechanism. Leveraging the core design principles that enhance durability, resilience, and robustness in organic materials, this paper describes the use of computational modeling and simulation to perform a three-point bending test on a 3D staggered nanocomposite intentionally crafted to mimic the detailed microstructure of nacre. We adopted a previously proposed interfacial zone model that conceptualizes the "relatively soft" layer as an interface between the "hard" mineral tablets and the microstructure's interlayer spaces to examine how the microstructure and interface characteristics affect the mechanical responses and failure mechanisms. By comparing the model's predictions with experimental data on natural nacre, the simulations unveil the mechanisms of tablet separation through adjacent layer sliding and crack deflection across interfacial zones. This study offers a robust numerical method for investigating the fracture toughening mechanisms and damage evolution and contributes to a deeper understanding of the complex interplays within biomimetic materials.




Journal of Composites Science 8 (5): 173 (2024)


Mechanical Engineering