CUED Publications database

Rhubarb petioles inspire biodegradable cellulose fibre-reinforced PLA composites with increased impact strength

Graupner, N and Labonte, D and Müssig, J (2017) Rhubarb petioles inspire biodegradable cellulose fibre-reinforced PLA composites with increased impact strength. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 98. pp. 218-226. ISSN 1359-835X

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Abstract

The petioles of red rhubarb are load-bearing structures which need to combine sufficient stiffness with high toughness. Although mostly consisting out of water, the petioles showed a remarkable Charpy impact strength, partly based on their beam-like structure: outermost bark fibre bundles provide stiffness and strength, and surround a core reinforced with ductile vascular bundles, which dissipate impact energy at two hierarchical levels: helical fibres in the vascular bundles are straightened, and both helical fibres and bundles are pulled-out of the parenchyma. Using technical composites made from stiff and ductile cellulose fibres as a model system, we investigated the functional significance of the fibre arrangement further. The impact resistance of bio-inspired composites exceeded that of composites with identical fibre-fraction but random fibre-distribution by more than a factor of two, while their tensile and flexural properties did not differ significantly, suggesting promising new routes for the design of tough, bio-compatible composites.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div C > Biomechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2017 01:44
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2021 00:48
DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesa.2017.03.021