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    During billions of years of evolution, creatures in nature have possessed nearly perfect structures and functions for survival. Multiscale structures in biological materials over several length scales play a pivotal role in achieving structural and functional integrity. Fiber, as a common principal structural element in nature, can be easily constructed in different ways, thus resulting in various natural structures. In this review, we summarized the decades of investigations on a typical biological structure constructed by fiber aragonites in mollusk shells. Crossed-lamellar structure, as one of the most widespread structures in mollusk shells, reconciles the strength-toughness trade-off dilemma successfully due to the presence of highly-hierarchical architectures. This distinctive structure includes several orders of sub-lamellae, and the different order lamellae present a cross-ply feature in one macro crossed-lamellar layer. When a mollusk shell has more than one macro-layer, the crossed-lamellar structure exhibits various forms of architectures including 0°/90°, 0°/90°/0° typical-sandwich, 15°/75°/0° quasi-sandwich, and 0°/90°/0°/90° arranged modes. The fracture resistance and the relevant toughening mechanisms are directly related to the highly-hierarchical crossed-lamellar structures on different length scales. This article is aimed to review the different arranged modes of crossed-lamellar structures existing in nature, with special attention to their impact on the mechanical behavior and salient toughening mechanisms over several length scales, for seeking the design guidelines for the fabrication of bio-inspired advanced engineering materials that are adaptive to different loading conditions. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    H M Ji, W Yang, D L Chen, X W Li. Natural arrangement of fiber-like aragonites and its impact on mechanical behavior of mollusk shells: A review. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2020 Oct;110:103940

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    PMID: 32957234

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