Journal of Bionic Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 869–881 | Cite as

Correlation between Microstructure and Failure Mechanism of Hyriopsis cumingii Shell Structure

  • Zhen ZhangEmail author
  • Jun ZhuEmail author
  • Yajie Chu
  • Zhengnian Chen
  • Shun Guo
  • Junqiang Xu


In nature, shells exhibit remarkable high toughness and impact resistance to the external load despite their brittle main constituent and simple hierarchical structure. In this work, the structure of the mussel shell Hyriopsis cumingii is analyzed by scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope, and the macro/micro compression and impact tests are performed. Results show that the shell has a three-layer structure: an outer cuticle layer, a prismatic layer, and a nacreous layer. The stiffer and load-dependent prismatic layer is conducive to improve the impact resistance of shell structure. Fracture morphology after failure proves that cracks are transgranularly propagated inside the prism and aragonite platelet, and the crack deflection and platelet pullout can effectively lock the stress, thereby eventually improving the impact-resistance and toughness of the shell.


Hyriopsis cumingii shell microstructure macro/micro mechanical property crack propagation 


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The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Defense Innovation Project, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51801098), the Natural Science General Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. 18KJB130003) and the High-level Scientific Research Foundation of Nanjing Institute of Technology (No. YKJ201708).


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Copyright information

© Jilin University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringNanjing Institute of TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Structural Materials and Application TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.School of Materials Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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