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Crack Propagation in Bamboo's Hierarchical Cellular Structure

Yang Lu's picture

Bamboo, as a natural hierarchical cellular material, exhibits remarkable mechanical properties including excellent flexibility and fracture toughness. As far as bamboo as a functionally graded bio-composite is concerned, the interactions of different constituents (bamboo fibers; parenchyma cells; and vessels.) alongside their corresponding interfacial areas with a developed crack should be of high significance. Here, by using multi-scale mechanical characterizations coupled with advanced environmental electron microscopy (ESEM), we unambiguously show that fibers' interfacial areas along with parenchyma cells' boundaries were preferred routes for crack growth in both radial and longitudinal directions. Irrespective of the honeycomb structure of fibers along with cellular configuration of parenchyma ground, the hollow vessels within bamboo culm affected the crack propagation too, by crack deflection or crack-tip energy dissipation. It is expected that the tortuous crack propagation mode exhibited in the present study could be applicable to other cellular natural materials as well.

 

http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140707/srep05598/full/srep05598.html

(full paper attached)

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