Bone-Inspired Design: The Role of Computation and Manufacturing

Speaker: Prof. Flavia Libonati, University of Genoa
Date: Oct 16, 2020; Time: 2:30PM Location: Webex

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Abstract: The high demand for engineering lightweight materials with an optimal strength-toughness balance is driving the research towards the design of innovative materials with great performance. Composites generally represent the best option for structural applications, offering a good stiffness-strength balance, combined with a low weight. However, the reduced toughness of composite materials often represents a limitation for their structural applications. Many researchers tried to overcome this limitation by implementing nature-inspired features into the composite design, leading to a new class of composites with improved toughness: the biomimetic composites. Natural hierarchical materials, indeed, represent a good source of inspiration for new material design. In particular, bone is a promising candidate, showing a great combination of stiffness and strength, a remarkable toughness, and a lightweight structure that provides support to a wide class of animal bodies. The mysterious reason behind seem to lie in hierarchy. This talk will show different case studies of biomimetic composites, inspired by different hierarchical levels of bone tissue and realized by different manufacturing techniques (e.g. 3D-printing additive, lamination). Each case study investigates the effect of a hierarchical sub-structure on the tissue-level properties and behavior, through a combined numerical-experimental approach, highlighting the role of the characteristic structural features on activating specific mechanisms. This research embraces the fundamental understanding of biological structural materials and the effective transferable technologies for the bio-inspired design and fabrication of novel material systems.

Biographical Sketch: Flavia Libonati received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Milan in 2013, followed by a postdoctoral associate position in the same university. In 2014, she became Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Milan and then in 2019 she was appointed as Associate Professor at the University of Genoa. Since 2014 she is also Research Affiliate at MIT, where she has been Visiting Research Scholar in 2016-2017, and recently appointed Research Affiliate at the Italian Institute of Technology. Her primary research interests are in the field of biological composites and biomimetic materials, with a special focus on the design and manufacturing of bio-inspired multiscale 3D-composite and smart materials for future engineering applications, through a multiscale numerical and experimental approach. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships and is a member of renowned scientific society.



Published: October 13, 2020

Categories: Past Seminars

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