Bouligand Structure

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A Bouligand structure is a layered and rotated microstructure resembling plywood, which is frequently found in naturally designed materials.[1] It consists of multiple lamella,or layers, each one composed of aligned fibers. Adjacent lamella are progressively rotated with respect to the its neighbors.[2] This structure enhances the mechanical properties of materials, especially its fracture resistance, and enables strength and in plane isotropy. It is found in various natural structures including the dactyl club of the mantis shrimp, the cosmoid scale of the coelacanth, and many other stomatopods.

Due to its desirable mechanical properties, there are ongoing attempts to replicate Bouligand arrangements in the creation of failure resistant bioinspired materials. For example, it has been shown that layered composites (such as CFRP) utilizing this structure have enhanced impact properties.[3] However, replicating the structure on small length scales is challenging, and the development and advancement of manufacturing techniques continually improves the ability to replicate this desirable structure.


  1. ^ Sherman, Vincent R.; Quan, Haocheng; Yang, Wen; Ritchie, Robert O.; Meyers, Marc A. "A comparative study of piscine defense: The scales of Arapaima gigas, Latimeria chalumnae and Atractosteus spatula". Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2016.10.001.
  2. ^ Bouligand, Y. (1965). "Sur une architecture torsadée répandue dans de nombreuses cuticules d'Arthropodes". C. R. Acad. Sci. 261: 3665–3668.
  3. ^ Pinto, F.; Iervolino, O.; Scarselli, G.; Ginzburg, D.; Meo, M. (2016-01-01). "Bioinspired twisted composites based on Bouligand structures". 9797: 97970E–97970E-13. doi:10.1117/12.2219088.