MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF SILICA CELLS IN BAMBOO MEASURED USING IN-SITU IMAGING NANAINDENTATION
Keywords:Bamboo, biogenic silica, cell wall, nanoindentation, silica cells
AbstractIn-situ imaging nanoindentation technique was applied to measure the cell wall mechanical properties of silica cells, as well as pure biogenic silica in Moso bamboo (phyllostachys pubescens Mazel). For comparison, the mechanical properties of thick-walled epidermal cells close to these silica cells, as well as bamboo fibers were also measured. The silica cells were found to have a high cell wall hardness of about 1 GPa, nearly two times that of the values observed for the other two types of cells. Furthermore, we found that biogenic silica had a hardness of as high as 2.68 GPa. This explains why silica cells have such high hardness. Conversely, bamboo fibers showed the highest values for indentation modulus, nearly two times greater than that of the other two cell types. This implies silica cells and epidermal thick-walled cells have a large microfibrillar angle compared to bamboo fibers. The present results imply that silica cells with exceptional high hardness may be regarded as a model nanocomposite with cell wall polymers reinforced with SiO2 nanoparticles. More research is needed on silica cells, as they might provide inspiration for the development of innovative SiO2/wood composite products with both high hardness and low production costs.
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