Volume 92 Issue 13 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 31, 2014

The Secret Strength Of Mollusk Shell

Bivalve gets protection from shell that resists penetration via deformation twinning
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE
Keywords: Placuna placenta, deformation twinning, armor

The windowpane oyster, known to scientists as the bivalve Placuna placenta, gets its name from its remarkable shell, which is transparent enough to read through. The shell is 99% calcite, the most stable polymorph of CaCO3. One might think that this high mineral content would make P. placenta’s shell brittle, but the shell is about 10 times more likely to resist penetration than single-crystal calcite from a geological source. MIT researchers Christine . . .

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