Assessing the Interfacial Dynamic Modulus of Biological Composites

Yaniv Shelef, Avihai Yosef Uzan, Ofer Braunshtein, Benny Bar-On

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biological composites (biocomposites) possess ultra-thin, irregular-shaped, energy dissipating interfacial regions that grant them crucial mechanical capabilities. Identifying the dynamic (viscoelastic) modulus of these interfacial regions is considered to be the key toward understanding the underlying structure-function relationships in various load-bearing biological materials including mollusk shells, arthropod cuticles, and plant parts. However, due to the submicron dimensions and the confined locations of these interfacial regions within the biocomposite, assessing their mechanical characteristics directly with experiments is nearly impossible. Here, we employ composite-mechanics modeling, analytical formulations, and numerical simulations to establish a theoretical framework that links the interfacial dynamic modulus of a biocomposite to the extrinsic characteristics of a larger-scale biocomposite segment. Accordingly, we introduce a methodology that enables back-calculating (via simple linear scaling) of the interfacial dynamic modulus of biocomposites from their far-field dynamic mechanical analysis. We demonstrate its usage on zigzag-shaped interfaces that are abundant in biocomposites. Our theoretical framework and methodological approach are applicable to the vast range of biocomposites in natural materials; its essence can be directly employed or generally adapted into analogous composite systems, such as architected nanocomposites, biomedical composites, and bioinspired materials.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3428
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2021


  • analytical modeling
  • biological composites
  • composite mechanics
  • dynamic modulus
  • interfaces


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