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Research Article Open Access

Understanding to Hierarchical Microstructures of Crab (Chinese Hairy) Shell as a Natural Architecture

Abstract

This work was done to better understand the microstructures, composition and mechanical properties of Chinese hairy crab shell. For fully revealing its hierarchical microstructure, the crab shell was observed with electron microscope under different magnifications from different facets. XRD, EDS, FTIR and TGA techniques have been used to characterize the untreated and chemically-treated crab shells, which provided enough information to determine the species and relative content of components in this biomaterial. Combined the microstructures with constituents analysis, the structural principles of crab shell was detailedly realized from different structural levels beyond former reports. To explore the relationship between structure and function, the mechanical properties of shell have been measured through performing tensile tests. The contributions of organics and minerals in shell to the mechanical properties were also discussed by measuring the tensile strength of de-calcification samples treated with HCl solution.

Chuanqiang Zhou, Xiangxiang Gong and Jie Han

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