Photograph of Odontodactylus scyllarus, along with an image of a dactyl club that has been removed and sectioned (as indicated by the dashed line marks).
Photograph of Odontodactylus scyllarus, along with an image of a dactyl club that has been removed and sectioned (as indicated by the dashed line marks).

Through evolutionary processes, biological composites have been optimized to fulfil specific functions. This optimization is exemplified in the mineralized dactyl club of the smashing predator stomatopod (specifically, Odontodactylus scyllarus). This crustacean’s club has been designed to withstand the thousands of high-velocity blows that it delivers to its prey. The endocuticle of this multiregional structure is characterized by a helicoidal arrangement of mineralized fiber layers, an architecture which results in impact resistance and energy absorbance. Here, we apply the helicoidal design strategy observed in the stomatopod club to the fabrication of high-performance carbon fiber–epoxy composites. Through experimental and computational methods, a helicoidal architecture is shown to reduce through-thickness damage propagation in a composite panel during an impact event and result in an increase in toughness. These findings have implications in the design of composite parts for aerospace, automotive and armor applications.

This paper was originally published in Acta Biomaterialia (2014)

To read more about this article, click here.

Log in to your free Materials Today account to download the full text pdf of the article.
 

Already a Materials Today member?

Log in to your Materials Today account to access this feature.