The origin of high-velocity impact response and damage mechanisms for bioinspired composites

Sangryun Lee, Dahyun Daniel Lim, Elizabeth Pegg, Grace X. Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Natural materials such as nacre abalone shells are often leveraged for inspiration in developing high-performing materials for impact protection applications. However, a comprehensive understanding of the microstructure-property relationships and their corresponding damage mechanisms in bioinspired designs under high-speed impact has not yet been fully studied. In this paper, the mechanism of the high-speed impact performance of nacre-inspired microstructures is presented, considering a set of design parameters using high-throughput computational simulations. Results show that adding interfacial waviness to traditional nacre designs enlarges the damage area, and an inclined interface helps to effectively block the crack and stress wave propagation, leading to superior impact performance. Moreover, an asymmetric microstructure tends to rotate an impactor, causing it to travel a longer path yielding larger energy dissipation. It is envisioned that pinpointing the superior features embedded in nacre-like structures can provide unique design guidelines for next-generation impact-resistant materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101152
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s)


  • bioinspired composites
  • crack propagation
  • damage mechanisms
  • impact properties
  • stress waves


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