For thousands of years the nature accumulates possibilities for optimized solutions to solve engineering problems using limited raw material, room temperature, aqueous solutions, solar energy and renewable resources. . Recently, this natural accumulated knowledge is being studied and applied to the optimize materials and structures in studies of biomimicry and bioinspiration. Gecko feet, nacre, bone and wood are examples of natural materials that inspired studies, search for answers and theoretical fundaments, scientific and technological development projects in the recent years. This doctoral project's main objectives are to identify the mechanical principles responsible for the excellent mechanical properties of the brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) shell and to artificially reproduce this structure, in a preliminary way. This will be done by identifying the hierarchical levels of organization of the nut shell structure by chemical analysis, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and microtomography (¼CT). In addition, mechanical properties of the nut shell will be evaluated in tensile, compression, hardness, nanohardness and Charpy impact test. Besides, the analysis of fracture surface will be carried out by optical microscopy, SEM and ¼CT to identify the fracture and toughness mechanisms developed by the brazil nut shell. Finally, the principles responsible for the brazil nut shell mechanical performance will be applied to optimize bioinspired polymeric composites.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: