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Paris, 23 March 2014

Mother-of-pearl inspires super-strong material

Whether traditional or derived from high technology, ceramics all have the same flaw: they are fragile. Yet this characteristic may soon be a thing of the past: a team of researchers led by the Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques (CNRS/Saint-Gobain), in collaboration with the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes et Environnement (CNRS/ENS de Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) and the Laboratoire Matériaux: Ingénierie et Science (CNRS/INSA Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), has recently presented a new ceramic material inspired by mother-of-pearl from the small single-shelled marine mollusk abalone. This material, almost ten times stronger than a conventional ceramic, is the result of an innovative manufacturing process that includes a freezing step. This method appears to be compatible with large-scale industrialization and should not be much more expensive than the techniques already in use. The artificial mother-of-pearl, which retains its properties at temperatures of at least 600°C, could find a wealth of applications in industry and reduce the weight or size of ceramic elements in motors and energy generation devices. This work was published on March 23, 2014 on the website of the journal Nature Materials.

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References:

Strong, tough and stiff bioinspired ceramics from brittle constituents, Florian Bouville, Eric Maire, Sylvain Meille, Bertrand Van de Moortèle, Adam J. Stevenson and Sylvain Deville, Nature Materials, March 23, 2014. View web site

Contact information:

CNRS Researcher l Sylvain Deville l T +33 4 32 50 06 59 l sylvain.Deville@saint-gobain.com
CNRS Press Officer l Laetitia Louis l T +33 1 44 96 51 37 l laetitia.louis@cnrs-dir.fr


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