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From Biomimetic Concept to Engineering Reality – A Case Study on the Design of Ceramic Reinforcement


  • This research was supported by the National Science Council, Taiwan, under contract no. NSC97-2221-E002-030. Supporting Information is available from the Wiley Online Library or from the author.


The applications of ceramics are limited by their brittleness. Though the toughness of ceramics can be improved by adding hard and strong toughening agents, their damage tolerance is still poor. Novel concept derives from fish scale is explored and used to design alternative toughening agent. The microstructure of fish scale exhibits hierarchical complexity and many weak layers are present. As fish scales are used directly as the toughening agent, the toughness of ceramics can be enhanced. Furthermore, a new toughening mechanism involving crack deflection within fish scale is observed. Based on such observation, the toughening agents with internal weak interfaces are recommended as the toughening agent. Many ceramic/metal interfaces are present within the multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs). The addition of MLCCs into brittle glass improves its crack resistance considerably.