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Nanoindentations on Conch Shells of Gastropoda and Bivalvia Molluscs Reveal Anisotropic Evolution Against External Attacks

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Nanoindentation method has been used to explore, at the nanoscale, the mechanical properties of four different representative types of conch shells belonging to the two biggest classes of molluscs, Gastropoda and Bivalvia, in order to compare nanohardness and Young's modulus with respect to the microstructural anisotropic architectures. For the experimental tests a Nano Indenter XP (MTS Nano Instruments, Oak Ridge TN) has been used. The mechanical tests have been carried out on the inner and outer surfaces of the shells, as well as on their cross-section, near to the inner/outer surfaces and in the middle layer. The results confirm the three layered anisotropic architecture of the investigated conchs. On each of these 5 surfaces, 2 × 5 indentations have been performed at different maximum depth: from 250 nm to 4 m, with a step of 250 nm, for a total of 3200 tests. The numerous observations have been analysed applying an ad hoc modification of the Weibull Statistics, suggesting a natural evolution of the shells against external attacks.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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