Crack-induced stress conentration is suppressed in nacreous composites

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) indicates that crack-like flaws tend to intensify stress in brittle materials with stress intensity proportional to the square root of the crack size. Under given loading, monolithic brittle materials can only endure cracks smaller than a critical size. In this paper, however, our exploration into the stress state of nacreous composites shows that the crack-induced stress intensification/concentration and its dependence on crack size can be suppressed in composites with ‘brick-and-mortar’ structure. This feature can be attributed to the unique ‘brick-and-mortar’ (B-and-M) structure and the complementary dissimilarity between ‘brick’ (e.g. minerals) and ‘mortar’ (e.g. proteins) phases in mechanical properties. Our findings provide a profound insight into the origin of high strength and high toughness in nacreous composites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Composites for Marine Engineering
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783038354062
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Event1st International Conference on Advanced Composites for Marine Engineering, ICACME 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 10 Sept 201312 Sept 2013

Publication series

NameMaterials Science Forum
ISSN (Print)0255-5476


Conference1st International Conference on Advanced Composites for Marine Engineering, ICACME 2013


  • Bio-inspired mechanics
  • Flaw insensitivity
  • Strengthening and toughening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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