Helical Fiber Pull-out in Biological Materials

Lixin Wang, Yuhong Cui, Qinghua Qin, Hui Wang, Jianshan Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Many biological materials, such as wood and bone, possess helicoid microstructures at microscale, which can serve as reinforcing elements to transfer stress between crack surfaces and improve the fracture toughness of their composites. Failure processes, such as fiber/matrix interface debonding and sliding associated with pull-out of helical fibers, are responsible mainly for the high energy dissipation needed for the fracture toughness enhancement. Here we present systemic analyses of the pull-out behavior of a helical fiber from an elastic matrix via the finite element method (FEM) simulation, with implications regarding the underlying toughening mechanism of helicoid microstructures. We find that, through their uniform curvature and torsion, helical fibers can provide high pull-out force and large interface areas, resulting in high energy dissipation that accounts, to a large extent, for the high toughness of biological materials. The helicity of fiber shape in terms of the helical angle has significant effects on the force-displacement relationships as well as the corresponding energy dissipation during fiber pull-out.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-256
    Number of pages12
    JournalActa Mechanica Solida Sinica
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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