The predominantly deep-sea hexactinellid sponges are known for their ability to construct remarkably complex skeletons from amorphous hydrated silica. The skeletal system of one such species of sponge, Euplectella aspergillum, consists of a square-grid-like architecture overlaid with a double set of diagonal bracings, creating a chequerboard-like pattern of open and closed cells. Here, using a combination of finite element simulations and mechanical tests on 3D-printed specimens of different lattice geometries, we show that the sponge’s diagonal reinforcement strategy achieves the highest buckling resistance for a given amount of material. Furthermore, using an evolutionary optimization algorithm, we show that our sponge-inspired lattice geometry approaches the optimum material distribution for the design space considered. Our results demonstrate that lessons learned from the study of sponge skeletal systems can be exploited for the realization of square lattice geometries that are geometrically optimized to avoid global structural buckling, with implications for improved material use in modern infrastructural applications.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Open Access articles citing this article.
Scientific Reports Open Access 12 July 2022
Nature Materials Open Access 09 June 2022
Subscription info for Chinese customers
We have a dedicated website for our Chinese customers. Please go to naturechina.com to subscribe to this journal.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Raw data for the plots are available on GitHub at http://fer.me/sponge-structure. Additional data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors on request.
All codes necessary to reproduce results in main paper are available on GitHub at http://fer.me/sponge-structure.
Schulze, F. E. Report on the hexactinellida collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76. In Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger During the Years 1873–76 (eds Thomson, C. W. & Murray, J.) Zoology Vol. 21, 1–513 (Neill and Co., 1887).
Aizenberg, J. et al. Skeleton of Euplectella sp.: structural hierarchy from the nanoscale to the macroscale. Science 309, 275–278 (2005).
Weaver, J. C. et al. Unifying design strategies in demosponge and hexactinellid skeletal systems. J. Adhes. 86, 72–95 (2010).
Miserez, A. et al. Effects of laminate architecture on fracture resistance of sponge biosilica: lessons from nature. Adv. Funct. Mater. 18, 1241–1248 (2008).
Monn, M. A., Weaver, J. C., Zhang, T., Aizenberg, J. & Kesari, H. New functional insights into the internal architecture of the laminated anchor spicules of Euplectella aspergillum. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, 4976–4981 (2015).
Schaedler, T. A. et al. Ultralight metallic microlattices. Science 334, 962–965 (2011).
Ashby, M. F. The properties of foams and lattices. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 364, 15–30 (2006).
Evans, A. G., Hutchinson, J. W., Fleck, N. A., Ashby, M. F. & Wadley, H. N. G. The topological design of multifunctional cellular metals. Prog. Mater. Sci. 46, 309–327 (2001).
Phani, A. S., Woodhouse, J. & Fleck, N. A. Wave propagation in two-dimensional periodic lattices. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 119, 1995–2005 (2006).
Lu, T. J., Stone, H. A. & Ashby, M. F. Heat transfer in open-cell metal foams. Acta Mater. 46, 3619–3635 (1998).
Ashby, M. F., Seymour, C. J. & Cebon, D. Metal Foams and Honeycombs Database (Granta Design, 1997).
Evans, A. G., Hutchinson, J. W. & Ashby, M. F. Multifunctionality of cellular metal systems. Prog. Mater. Sci. 43, 171–221 (1998).
Deshpande, V. S., Ashby, M. F. & Fleck, N. A. Foam topology: bending versus stretching dominated architectures. Acta Mater. 49, 1035–1040 (2001).
Gibson, L. J. & Ashby, M. F. Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999).
Phani, A. S. & Hussein, M. I. Dynamics of Lattice Materials (John Wiley & Sons, 2017).
Danielsson, M., Parks, D. M. & Boyce, M. C. Three-dimensional micromechanical modeling of voided polymeric materials. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 50, 351–379 (2002).
Bertoldi, K. & Boyce, M. C. Mechanically triggered transformations of phononic band gaps in periodic elastomeric structures. Phys. Rev. B 77, 052105 (2008).
Hansen, N., Akimoto, Y. & Baudis, P. CMA-ES/pycma: r3.0.3. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2559634 (2019).
Horne, M. R. & Merchant, W. The Stability of Frames (Elsevier, 1965).
Schulze, F. E. Hexactinellida. In Scientific Results of the German Deep-Sea Expedition with the Steamboat, Valdivia 1898–1899 (ed. Chun, C.) (Gustav Fischer, 1904).
Saito, T., Uchida, I. & Takeda, M. Skeletal growth of the deep-sea hexactinellid sponge Euplectella oweni, and host selection by the symbiotic shrimp Spongicola japonica (crustacea: Decapoda: Spongicolidae). J. Zool. 258, 521–529 (2002).
Walter, S. L., Flinn, B. D. & Mayer, G. Mechanisms of toughening of a natural rigid composite. Mater. Sci. Eng. C 27, 570–574 (2007).
Monn, M. A., Vijaykumar, K., Kochiyama, S. & Kesari, H. Lamellar architectures in stiff biomaterials may not always be templates for enhancing toughness in composites. Nat. Commun. 11, 373 (2020).
Woesz, A. et al. Micromechanical properties of biological silica in skeletons of deep-sea sponges. J. Mater. Res. 21, 2068–2078 (2006).
This work was supported by NSF-GRFP Fellowship Grant Number DGE-1144152 (M.C.F.), a GEM Consortium Fellowship (M.C.F.) and the Harvard Graduate Prize Fellowship (M.C.F.), and was partially supported by the NSF through the Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Grant Number DMR-2011754 and NSF DMREF Grant Number DMR-1922321. We also thank J. R. Rice, J. W. Hutchinson, F. H. Abernathy, J. Vlassak, S. Gerasimidis and C. Rycroft for discussions.
The authors would like to disclose a submitted patent application on related geometric features reported in this manuscript. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (RO/US) application number: 002806-094100WOPT filed in 2019. Patent applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College. Inventors: Matheus C. Fernandes, James C. Weaver, and Katia Bertoldi. The authors declare no further competing interests.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Fernandes, M.C., Aizenberg, J., Weaver, J.C. et al. Mechanically robust lattices inspired by deep-sea glass sponges. Nat. Mater. 20, 237–241 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-020-0798-1
Nature Materials (2022)
Scientific Reports (2022)
Similarities of the Mechanical Responses of Body-Centered Cubic Lattice Structures with Different Constituent Materials Under Compression