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Gewählte Publikation:

Müller, U; Gindl-Altmutter, W; Konnerth, J; Maier, GA; Keckes, J; .
(2015): Synergy of multi-scale toughening and protective mechanisms at hierarchical branch-stem interfaces.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:14522 FullText FullText_BOKU

Biological materials possess a variety of artful interfaces whose size and properties are adapted to their hierarchical levels and functional requirements. Bone, nacre, and wood exhibit an impressive fracture resistance based mainly on small crystallite size, interface organic adhesives and hierarchical microstructure. Currently, little is known about mechanical concepts in macroscopic biological interfaces like the branch-stem junction with estimated 1014 instances on earth and sizes up to few meters. Here we demonstrate that the crack growth in the upper region of the branch-stem interface of conifer trees proceeds along a narrow predefined region of transversally loaded tracheids, denoted as sacrificial tissue, which fail upon critical bending moments on the branch. The specific arrangement of the tracheids allows disconnecting the overloaded branch from the stem in a controlled way by maintaining the stem integrity. The interface microstructure based on the sharply adjusted cell orientation and cell helical angle secures a zig-zag crack propagation path, mechanical interlock closing after the bending moment is removed, crack gap bridging and self-repairing by resin deposition. The multi-scale synergetic concepts allows for a controllable crack growth between stiff stem and flexible branch, as well as mechanical tree integrity, intact physiological functions and recovery after the cracking.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Gindl-Altmutter Wolfgang
Konnerth Johannes
Müller Ulrich
Find related publications in this database (using NML MeSH Indexing)
Biomechanical Phenomena;Coniferophyta/anatomy & histology;Coniferophyta/physiology*;Hardness Tests;Plant Shoots/anatomy & histology;Plant Shoots/physiology*;Plant Stems/anatomy & histology;Plant Stems/physiology*;Stress, Mechanical;Tensile Strength;Trees/anatomy & histology;Trees/physiology*;

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