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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 3817985, 7 pages
Research Article

New Insight into the Toughening Mechanisms of Seashell: From Arch Shape to Multilayer Structure

1School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Xihua University, Hongguang Town, Chengdu 610039, China
2College of Aerospace Engineering, Chongqing University, Shapingba District, Chongqing 400044, China

Received 25 April 2016; Accepted 2 August 2016

Academic Editor: Christian Kübel

Copyright © 2016 Quan Yuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A seashell is a closed three-dimensional curved surface formed by two symmetrical open shells. Three-point bending is performed on a pure aragonite straight beam (PASB) model and a multilayer structure curved beam (MSCB) model to elucidate the structure-property relationships of seashells. The integrity of the PASB is broken because of the introduction of a soft layer, but this drawback is compensated by the peculiar arch shape and the internal multilayer structure. The effective modulus, stiffness, and fracture energy of MSCB increase with an increase in volume fraction, aspect ratio of aragonite platelet, overlap ratio of hard layers, and ratio of the elastic modulus of the hard layer to the shear modulus of the soft layer. New design disciplines drawn from the MSCB model are peculiar arch shape, internal multilayer structure of larger volume fraction, and aspect ratio of hard layers and nanoscaled soft layers.