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Selected Publication:

Xiao, NN; Felhofer, M; Antreich, SJ; Huss, JC; Mayer, K; Singh, A; Bock, P; Gierlinger, N.
(2021): Twist and lock: nutshell structures for high strength and energy absorption
ROY SOC OPEN SCI. 2021; 8(8), 210399 FullText FullText_BOKU

Nutshells achieve remarkable properties by optimizing structure and chemistry at different hierarchical levels. Probing nutshells from the cellular down to the nano- and molecular level by microchemical and nanomechanical imaging techniques reveals insights into nature's packing concepts. In walnut and pistachio shells, carbohydrate and lignin polymers assemble to form thick-walled puzzle cells, which interlock three-dimensionally and show high tissue strength. Pistachio additionally achieves high-energy absorption by numerous lobes interconnected via ball-joint-like structures. By contrast, the three times more lignified walnut shells show brittle LEGO-brick failure, often along the numerous pit channels. In both species, cell walls (CWs) show distinct lamellar structures. These lamellae involve a helicoidal arrangement of cellulose macrofibrils as a recurring motif. Between the two nutshell species, these lamellae show differences in thickness and pitch angle, which can explain the different mechanical properties on the nanolevel. Our in-depth study of the two nutshell tissues highlights the role of cell form and their interlocking as well as plant CW composition and structure for mechanical protection. Understanding these plant shell concepts might inspire biomimetic material developments as well as using walnut and pistachio shell waste as sustainable raw material in future applications.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Antreich Sebastian Johannes
Bock Peter
Felhofer Martin
Gierlinger Notburga
Huss Jessica
Mayer Konrad
Singh Adya Prasad
Xiao Nannan

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
secondary cell wall
tensile properties

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