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Researchers uncover secrets of a mollusk's unique bioceramic armor
Date:3/30/2014

isolates damage through an atomic-level process called "twinning" within the individual ceramic building blocks: Part of the crystal shifts its position in a predictable way, leaving two regions with the same orientation as before, but with one portion shifted relative to the other. This twinning process occurs all around the stressed region, helping to form a kind of boundary that keeps the damage from spreading outward.

The MIT researchers found that twinning then activates "a series of additional energy-dissipation mechanisms which preserve the mechanical and optical integrity of the surrounding material," Li says. This produces a material that is 10 times more efficient in dissipating energy than the pure mineral, Li adds.

The properties of this natural armor make it a promising template for the development of bio-inspired synthetic materials for both commercial and military applications such as eye and face protection for soldiers, windows and windshields, and blast shields, Ortiz says.


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Contact: Andrew Carleen
acarleen@mit.edu
617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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