Strong, stiff & auxetic - Lessons learned from a fascinating biological material

Conference Dates

October 2 – 7, 2022


Materials that display a negative Poisson’s ratio, a property also referred to as auxeticity, have been found in nature and created in engineering through various structural mechanisms. However, these examples, such as cow skin or kirigami structures, are typically low-stiffness designs, since the structural unit rotation or folding usually requires open space for accommodation. Thus, uniting auxeticity with high strength and high stiffness has remained challenging. In this work, we focus on the properties of the limpet teeth, as this material excels in rather harsh loading situations. We combine in-situ nanomechanical testing in SEM and TEM with high resolution structural investigations and microstructure-based modeling to show that the leading part of the limpet teeth successfully achieves this rare combination of properties

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