Extreme strength observed in limpet teeth
Barber, AH, Lu, D and Pugno, NM (2015). Extreme strength observed in limpet teeth. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. 12 (105), pp. 20141326-20141326.
|Authors||Barber, AH, Lu, D and Pugno, NM|
The teeth of limpets exploit distinctive composite nanostructures consisting of high volume fractions of reinforcing goethite nanofibres within a softer protein phase to provide mechanical integrity when rasping over rock surfaces during feeding. The tensile strength of discrete volumes of limpet tooth material measured using in situ atomic force microscopy was found to range from 3.0 to 6.5 GPa and was independent of sample size. These observations highlight an absolute material tensile strength that is the highest recorded for a biological material, outperforming the high strength of spider silk currently considered to be the strongest natural material, and approaching values comparable to those of the strongest man-made fibres. This considerable tensile strength of limpet teeth is attributed to a high mineral volume fraction of reinforcing goethite nanofibres with diameters below a defect-controlled critical size, suggesting that natural design in limpet teeth is optimized towards theoretical strength limits.
|Keywords||MD Multidisciplinary; General Science & Technology|
|Journal||Journal of The Royal Society Interface|
|Journal citation||12 (105), pp. 20141326-20141326|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.1326|
|18 Feb 2015|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||20 Aug 2018|
|Accepted||18 Feb 2015|
|Accepted author manuscript|
CC BY 4.0
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