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Branching toughens fibrous networks

Koh, C. T. and Oyen , M. L. (2012) Branching toughens fibrous networks. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 12. pp. 74-82. ISSN 17516161

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Fibrous collagenous networks are not only stiff but also tough, due to their complex microstructures. This stiff yet tough behavior is desirable for both medical and military applications but it is difficult to reproduce in engineering materials. While the nonlinear hyperelastic behavior of fibrous networks has been extensively studied, the understanding of toughness is still incomplete. Here, we identify a microstructure mimicking the branched bundles of a natural type I collagen network, in which partially cross-linked long fibers give rise to novel combinations of stiffness and toughness. Finite element analysis shows that the stiffness of fully cross-linked fibrous networks is amplified by increasing the fibril length and cross-link density. However, a trade-off of such stiff networks is reduced toughness. By having partially cross-linked networks with long fibrils, the networks have comparable stiffness and improved toughness as compared to the fully cross-linked networks. Further, the partially cross-linked networks avoid the formation of kinks, which cause fibril rupture during deformation. As a result, the branching allows the networks to have stiff yet tough behavior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fibrous networks; branching; cross-links; collagen; kinks; fracture; toughness; hyperelastic
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA401-492 Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials
Divisions: Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering > Department of Materials Engineering and Design
Depositing User: Mr. Mohammad Shaifulrip Ithnin
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 03:36
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 03:36
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/8937
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