Damage-tolerant material design motif derived from asymmetrical rotation

Wei Wang, Shu Jian Chen, Weiqiang Chen, Wenhui Duan, Jia Zie Lai, Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Motifs extracted from nature can lead to significant advances in materials design and have been used to tackle the apparent exclusivity between strength and damage tolerance of brittle materials. Here we present a segmental design motif found in arthropod exoskeleton, in which asymmetrical rotational degree of freedom is used in damage control in contrast to the conventional interfacial shear failure mechanism of existing design motifs. We realise this design motif in a compression-resisting lightweight brittle material, demonstrating a unique progressive failure behaviour that preserves material integrity with 60–80% of load-bearing capacity at >50% of compressive strain. This rotational degree of freedom further enables a periodic energy absorbance pattern during failure yielding 200% higher strength than the corresponding cellular structure and up to 97.9% reduction of post-damage residual stress compared with ductile materials. Fifty material combinations covering 27 types of materials analysed display potential progressive failure behaviour by this design motif, thereby establishing a broad spectrum of potential applications of the design motif for advanced materials design, energy storage/conversion and architectural structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1289
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022

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