Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 43–51 | Cite as

Production and properties of a precision-cast bio-inspired composite

  • Sebastian F. Fischer
  • Marc Thielen
  • Philipp Weiß
  • Robin Seidel
  • Thomas Speck
  • Andreas Bührig-Polaczek
  • Matthias Bünck
Article

Abstract

The article presents the production and investigation of a bio-inspired metal–metal-composite inspired by the pomelo peel. The pomelo fruit is able to withstand a fall externally undamaged, even from heights of over 10 m most likely due to the hierarchical structuring of its foamy peel, which represents a complex composite structure. Especially the foam’s struts, which are cells from the biological point of view, consisting of liquid-filled cores and shells (cell walls) with relatively high strength, give point to a technical adaptation. With the objective to make use of the pomelo’s ability to absorb impact energy, the design of a pomelo strut is abstracted and transferred to aluminium/aluminium–silicon-alloy (A356) composite tensile specimens. Testing results show that the properties of the individual materials can successfully be combined. After fracture of the outer high strength, but less ductile A356-shell, the applied stress can still be absorbed by deformation of the inner highly ductile pure aluminium. As a result, the ductility of a bio-inspired composite is significantly higher compared with an A356 tensile specimen. By varying the mould and casting temperatures, the relationship between the production parameters and the quality of the composite is shown. A reduced mould and casting temperature lowers the dendrite arm spacing in the A356 outer shell of the composite material thus leading to an increased tensile strength. The detected metal bond between the two materials is mainly influenced by the interaction between the casting and the mould temperature.

References

  1. 1.
    Kromm FX, Quenisset JM, Harry R, Lorriot T (2002) An example of multimaterials design. Adv Eng Mater 4(6):371–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ashby MF, Bréchet YJM (2003) Designing hybrid materials. Acta Mater 51(19):5801–5821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Munch E, Launey ME, Alsem DH, Saiz E, Tomsia A, Ritchie RO (2008) Tough, Bio-inspired hybrid materials. Science 322(5):1516–1520PubMedCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bian L, Liang W, Xie G, Zhang W, Xue J (2011) Enhanced ductility in an Al–Mg2Si in situ composite processed by ECAP using a modified BC route. Mater Sci Eng, A 528(9):3463–3467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sirisalee P, Ashby MF, Parks GT, Clarkson PJ (2006) Multi-criteria material selection of monolithic and multi-materials in engineering design. Adv Eng Mater 8(1–2):48–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cluff DRA, Esmaeili S (2009) Compressive properties of a new metal-polymer hybrid material. J Mater Sci. doi:10.1007/s10853-009-3525-5 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Akdemir A, Kus R, Simsir M (2011) Investigation of the tensile properties of continuous steel wire-reinforced gray cast iron composite. Mater Sci Eng A 528(10–11):3897–3904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dunlop JWC, Fratzl P (2013) Multilevel architectures in natural materials. Scripta Mater 68:8–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aizenberg J, Weaver JC, Thanawala MS, Sundar VC, Morse DE, Fratzl P (2005) Skeleton of Euplectella sp.: structural hierarchy from the nanoscale to the macroscale. Science 309(8):275–278PubMedCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Woesz A, Weaver JC, Kazanci M, Dauphin Y, Aizenberg J, Morse DE, Fratzl P (2006) Micromechanical properties of biological silica in skeletons of deep-sea sponges. J Mater Res 21(8):2068–2078CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Weaver JC, Aizenberg J, Fanter GE, Kisailus D, Woesz A, Allen P, Fields K, Porter MJ, Zok FW, Hansma PK, Fratzl P, Morse DE (2007) Hierarchical Assembly of the Siliceous Skeletal Lattice of the Hexactinellid Sponge Euplectella aspergillum. J Struct Biol 158(1):93–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lichtenegger H, Reiterer A, Stanzel-Tschegg SE, Fratzl P (1999) Variation of cellulose microfibril angles in softwoods and hardwoods-a possible strategy of mechanical optimization. J Strut Biol 128(3):257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reiterer A, Burgert I, Sinn G, Stanzel-Tschegg S (2002) The radial reinforcement of the wood structure and its implication on mechanical and fracture mechanical properties—a comparison between two tree species. J Mater Sci. doi:10.1023/A:1014339612423 Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Speck T, Burgert I (2011) Plant stems: functional design and mechanics. Annu Rev Mate Res 41:169–193CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Seidel R, Bührig-Polaczek A, Fleck C and Speck T (2009) Impact resistance of hierarchically structured fruit walls and nut shells in view of biomimetic applications. In Proceedings of the 6th Plant Biomechanics Conference. French Guyana, France 2009. pp 406–411Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Seidel R, Thielen M, Schmitt C, Bührig-Polaczek A, Fleck C, Speck T (2010) Fruit walls and nut shells as an inspiration for the design of bio-inspired impact resistant hierarchically structured materials. In: Brebbia CA (ed) Design and Nature V. WIT Press, Southampton, pp 421–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Thielen M, Schmitt CNZ, Eckert S, Speck T, Seidel R (2013) Structure-function relationship of the foam-like pomelo peel (Citrus maxima)—an inspiration for the development of biomimetic damping materials with high energy dissipation. Bioinspir Biomim 8(2):1–10Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Thielen M, Speck T, Seidel R (2013) Viscoelasticity and compaction behaviour of the foam-like pomelo (Citrus maxima) peel. J Mater Sci. doi:10.1007/s10853-013-7137-8 Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fischer SF, Bührig-Polaczek A (2012) Evaluation and modification of the block mould casting process enabling the flexible production of small batches of complex castings. In: Srinivasan R (ed) Science and technology of casting processes. InTech, Rijeka, pp 88–114Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fischer SF, Thielen M, Loprang RR, Seidel R, Fleck C, Speck T, Bührig-Polaczek A (2010) Pummelos as concept generators for biomimetically inspired low weight structures with excellent damping properties. Adv Eng Mat 12(12):658–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Neinhuis C, Edelmann HG (1996) Methanol as a rapid fixative for the investigation of plant surfaces by SEM. J Microsc 184(1):14–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Vendra LJ, Brown JA, Rabiei A (2011) Effect of processing parameters on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Al–steel composite foam. J Mater Sci. doi:10.1007/s10853-011-5356-4 Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kumar S, Kumar P, Shan HS (2008) Optimization of tensile properties of evaporative pattern casting process through Taguchi’s method. J Mater Process Tech 204(1–3):59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Brevick JR, Davis JW, Dincher C (1991) Towards improving the properties of plaster moulds and castings. Proc Inst Mech Eng 205(4):265–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Borreguero AM, Carmona M, Sanchez ML, Valverde JL, Rodriguez JF (2010) Improvement of the thermal behaviour of gypsum blocks by the incorporation of microcapsules containing PCMS obtained by suspension polymerization with an optimal core/coating mass ratio. Appl Therm Eng 30(10):1164–1169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kim S, Kim M, Hong T, Kim H, Kim Y (2000) Investment casting of AZ91HP magnesium alloy. Met Mater Int 6(3):275–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Grugel RN (1993) Secondary and tertiary dendrite arm spacing relationships in directionally solidified Al–Si alloys. J Mater Sci. doi:10.1007/BF01151244 Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kurz W, Fisher DJ (1989) Fundamentals of solidification. Trans Tech SA, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian F. Fischer
    • 1
  • Marc Thielen
    • 2
  • Philipp Weiß
    • 1
  • Robin Seidel
    • 2
  • Thomas Speck
    • 2
  • Andreas Bührig-Polaczek
    • 1
  • Matthias Bünck
    • 3
  1. 1.Foundry-InstituteRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Plant Biomechanics Group, Botanic Garden, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Access e.VAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations