Brazil nutshell (fruit of Bertholletia excelsa) has great potencial as source of bioinspiration for impact and puncture resistant structures. Its hierarchical levels of organization have been identified and the next step is mechanically characterize the nutshell. The mechanical characterization will be made by compression test of the whole and the half nutshell, tensile and compressive C-ring test, displacement controlled tensile and compression loading test and nanoindentation. Fracture toughness (KIC) and R-curve measurements will be performed to study the toughening mechanisms developed by the brazil nutshell. These experiments will be conducted in the Technische Universität Berlin, in Germany, under the guidance of Prof. Dra. Claudia Fleck.More than mechanically characterize the brazil nutshell, it is intend to gain experience in the biomimetic field and establish international cooperation with a recognized research group. The final goal is to correlate the microstructural features with the mechanical performance of brazil nutshell and discover the mechanical principles involved to produce outstanding bioinspired polymeric composites.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: