Sacrificial bonds and hidden length (SBHL) in structural molecules provide a mechanism for energy dissipation at the nanoscale. It is hypothesized that their presence leads to greater fracture toughness than what is observed in materials without such features. Here, we investigate this hypothesis using a simplified model of a mineralized collagen fibril sliding on a polymeric interface with SBHL systems. A 1D coarse-grained nonlinear spring-mass system is used to model the fibril. Rate-and-displacement constitutive equations are used to describe the mechanical properties of the polymeric system. The model quantifies how the interface toughness increases as a function of polymer density and number of sacrificial bonds. Other characteristics of the SBHL system, such as the length of hidden loops and the strength of the bonds, are found to influence the results. The model also gives insight into the variations in the mechanical behavior in response to physiological changes, such as the degree of mineralization of the collagen fibril and polymer density in the interfibrillar matrix. The model results provide constraints relevant for bio-mimetic material design and multiscale modeling of fracture in human bone.
- Collagen fibrils
- Crack propagation
- Sacrificial bonds and hidden length
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism