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Title: The limiting layer of fish scales: Structure and properties

Fish scales serve as a flexible natural armor that have received increasing attention across the materials community. Most efforts in this area have focused on the composite structure of the predominately organic elasmodine, and limited work addresses the highly mineralized external portion known as the Limiting Layer (LL). This coating serves as the first barrier to external threats and plays an important role in resisting puncture. Here in this investigation the structure, composition and mechanical behavior of the LL were explored for three different fish, including the arapaima (Arapaima gigas), the tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) and the carp (Cyprinus carpio). The scales of these three fish have received the most attention within the materials community. Features of the LL were evaluated with respect to anatomical position to distinguish site-specific functional differences. Results show that there are significant differences in the surface morphology of the LL from posterior and anterior regions in the scales, and between the three fish species. The calcium to phosphorus ratio and the mineral to collagen ratios of the LL are not equivalent among the three fish. Finally, results from nanoindentation showed that the LL of tarpon scales is the hardest, followed by the carp and the arapaimamore » and the differences in hardness are related to the apatite structure, possibly induced by the growth rate and environment of each fish.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [6] ;  [3]
  1. Shanghai Univ., Shanghai (China). Dept. of Mechanics; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  2. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Energy and Environment Directorate
  5. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate
  6. Univ. Eafit, Medellin (Colombia). School of Engineering, Production Engineering Dept.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
ECC-1542101; AC05-76RL01830; 0210-2013
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Biomaterialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 67; Journal ID: ISSN 1742-7061
Publisher:
Acta Materialia, Inc.
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Colciencias of Colombia
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Apatite; Armor; Collagen; Fish scales; Hardness; Ionic substitution; Limiting layer; Nature; Scale morphology
OSTI Identifier:
1416971