A multiscale study on the structural and mechanical properties of the luffa sponge from Luffa cylindrica plant

Chen, Q., Shi, Q., Gorb, S. N., & Li, Z. Y. (2014) A multiscale study on the structural and mechanical properties of the luffa sponge from Luffa cylindrica plant. Journal of Biomechanics, 47(6), pp. 1332-1339.

View at publisher


Cellular materials that are often observed in biological systems exhibit excellent mechanical properties at remarkably low densities. Luffa sponge is one of such materials with a complex interconnecting porous structure. In this paper, we studied the relationship between its structural and mechanical properties at different levels of its hierarchical organization from a single fiber to a segment of whole sponge. The tensile mechanical behaviors of three single fibers were examined by an Instron testing machine and the ultrastructure of a fractured single fiber was observed in a scanning electronic microscope. Moreover, the compressive mechanical behaviors of the foam-like blocks from different locations of the sponge were examined. The difference of the compressive stress-strain responses of four sets of segmental samples were also compared. The result shows that the single fiber is a porous composite material mainly consisting of cellulose fibrils and lignin/hemicellulose matrix, and its Young's modulus and strength are comparable to wood. The mechanical behavior of the block samples from the hoop wall is superior to that from the core part. Furthermore, it shows that the influence of the inner surface on the mechanical property of the segmental sample is stronger than that of the core part; in particular, the former's Young's modulus, strength and strain energy absorbed are about 1.6 times higher. The present work can improve our understanding of the structure-function relationship of the natural material, which may inspire fabrication of new biomimetic foams with desirable mechanical efficiency for further applications in anti-crushing devices and super-light sandwich panels.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
10 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 90286
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cellular material, Foam, Biological material, Mechanical properties, Biomimetics, behavior, fibers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.02.010
ISSN: 0021-9290
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2015 03:54
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 05:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page