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Scleractinian corals are a major source of biogenic calcium carbonate, yet the relationship between their skeletal microstructure and mechanical properties has been scarcely studied. In this work, the skeletons of two coral species: solitary Balanophyllia europaea and colonial Stylophora pistillata, were investigated by nanoindentation. The hardness HIT and Young's modulus EIT were determined from the analysis of several load–depth data on two perpendicular sections of the skeletons: longitudinal (parallel to the main growth axis) and transverse. Within the experimental and statistical uncertainty, the average values of the mechanical parameters are independent on the section's orientation. The hydration state of the skeletons did not affect the mechanical properties. The measured values, EIT in the 76–77 GPa range, and HIT in the 4.9–5.1 GPa range, are close to the ones expected for polycrystalline pure …
The Royal Society
Publication date: 
6 May 2015

Luca Pasquini, Alan Molinari, Paola Fantazzini, Yannicke Dauphen, Jean-Pierre Cuif, Oren Levy, Zvy Dubinsky, Erik Caroselli, Fiorella Prada, Stefano Goffredo, Matteo Di Giosia, Michela Reggi, Giuseppe Falini

Biblio References: 
Volume: 12 Issue: 106 Pages: 20150168
Journal of the Royal Society Interface