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Article

Crystallographic Interdigitation in Oyster Shell Folia Enhances Material Strength

Citation
Meng Y, Fitzer SC, Chung P, Li C, Thiyagarajan V & Cusack M (2018) Crystallographic Interdigitation in Oyster Shell Folia Enhances Material Strength. Crystal Growth and Design, 18 (7), pp. 3753-3761. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.cgd.7b01481

Abstract
Shells of oyster species belonging to the genus Crassostrea have similar shell microstructural features comprising well-ordered calcite folia. However, the mechanical strengths of folia differ dramatically between closely related species. For example, the calcareous shells of the Hong Kong oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis are stronger than those of its closest relative, the Portuguese oyster, Crassostrea angulata. Specifically, after removal of organic content, the folia of C. hongkongensis are 200% tougher and able to withstand a 100% higher crushing force than that of C. angulata. Detailed analyses of shell structural and mechanical features support the hypothesis that crystallographic interdigitations confer elevated mechanical strength in C. hongkongensis oyster shells compared to C. angulata shells. Consequently, the folia of C. hongkongensis are structurally equipped to withstand a higher external load compared to C. angulata. The observed relationships between oyster shell structure, crystallography, and mechanical properties provided an insightful context in which to consider the likely fate of these two species in future climate change scenarios. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary approach developed in this study through integrating electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) data into finite element analysis (FEA) could be applied to other biomineral systems to investigate the relationship between crystallography and mechanical behavior.

Keywords
Oysters; shell structure; mechanical strength; crystallography

Journal
Crystal Growth and Design: Volume 18, Issue 7

StatusPublished
Author(s)Meng, Yuan; Fitzer, Susan C; Chung, Peter; Li, Chaoyi; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen; Cusack, Maggie
FundersResearch Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Scottish Funding Council, National Natural Science Foundation of China and Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance
Publication date05/07/2018
Publication date online21/05/2018
Date accepted by journal15/04/2018
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/27372
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN1528-7483
eISSN1528-7505
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