alexa The red-eared slider turtle carapace under fatigue loading: The effect of rib-suture arrangement.


Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering

Author(s): Achrai B, Daniel Wagner H

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Abstract Biological structures consisting of strong boney elements interconnected by compliant but tough collagenous sutures are abundantly found in skulls and shells of, among others, armadillos, alligators, turtles and more. In the turtle shell, a unique arrangement of alternating rigid (rib) and flexible (suture) elements gives rise to superior mechanical performance when subjected to low and high strain-rate loadings. However, the resistance to repeated load cycling - fatigue - of the turtle shell has yet to be examined. Such repeated loading could approximately simulate the consecutive high-stress bending loads exerted during (a predator) biting or clawing. In the present study flexural high-stress cyclic loads were applied to rib and suture specimens, taken from the top dorsal part of the red-eared slider turtle shell, termed carapace. Subsequently, to obtain a more complete and integrated fatigue behavior of the carapace, specimens containing a complex alternating rib-suture-rib-suture-rib configuration were tested as well. Although the sutures were found to be the least resistant to repeated loads, a synergistic effect was observed for the complex specimens, displaying improved fatigue durability compared to the individual (suture or even rib) constituents. This study may assist in the design of future high-stress fatigue-resistant materials incorporating complex assemblies of rigid and flexible elements. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This article was published in Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl and referenced in Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering

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