Biologically inspired toughening of composites
High performance materials with high strength and low weight are desirable for unmanned aerial vehicles. Nature has evolved efficient strategies to synthesize inorganic materials that demonstrate outstanding mechanical properties. One such example is nacre, an impact-resistant organic-inorganic nanocomposite found in mollusk shells. We aim to develop cost-effective and environmentally friendly 3-D composites by synthesizing biomimetic composites and performing experimental and modeling-based mechanical studies on the resulting structures to understand the nano-, micro-, and macro-scale features that are responsible for the unique properties of biological composites that can be extended towards bio-inspired nanocomposite design and synthesis.