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Microstructure, elastic properties and deformation mechanisms of horn keratin

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
2043 99 2010 12 PDF Available
Title
Microstructure, elastic properties and deformation mechanisms of horn keratin
Abstract

The structure and mechanical properties of the horns from a desert bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis, were examined. Horns must be strong and durable as they are subjected to extreme loading impacts, making them superior structural materials. Horns are composed of α-keratin, a fibrous, structural protein found in hair, nails, claws and hooves. Horns have a lamellar structure (2–5 μm in thickness) stacked in the radial direction with tubules (∼40 × 100 μm in diameter) dispersed between the lamellae, extending along the length of the horn in the growth direction. Compression and bending tests were conducted in both rehydrated and ambient dried conditions. The yield strength and elastic modulus are anisotropic and are correlated with the orientation of the tubules. Rehydrated samples showed significant loss of strength and modulus. Microscopy of fractured samples revealed several toughening mechanisms: delamination and ligament bridging in bending and delamination and microbuckling of the lamellae in compression.

Keywords
Keratin; Sheep horn; Mechanical properties; Microstructure; Lamellar composite
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 319–330
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
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Any Questions? feel free to contact us