Lamella (materials)

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For the type of armor, see Lamellar armour.

A lamella (plural lamellae) is a small plate or flake, from the Latin, and may also be used to refer to collections of fine sheets of material held adjacent to one another, in a gill-shaped structure, often with fluid in between though sometimes simply a set of 'welded' plates. The term is used in biological and engineering contexts, such as filters and heat exchangers; the microscopic structures in bone and nacre are lamellae in the materials science sense of the word.

Uses of the term[edit]

In surface chemistry (especially mineralogy and materials science), lamellar structures are fine layers, alternating between different materials, they can be produced by chemical effects (as in eutectic solidification), biological means, or a deliberate process of lamination, such as pattern welding. Lamellae can also describe the layers of atoms in the crystal lattice of a material such as a metal.

The term has been used to describe the construction of lamellar armour, as well as the layered structures that can be described by a lamellar vector field.

In a water-treatment context, lamellar filters may be referred to as plate filters or tube filters.

This term is used to describe a certain type of ichthyosis, a congenital skin condition. Lamellar Ichthyosis often presents with a "colloidal" membrane at birth, it is characterized by generalized dark scaling.

The term lamella(e) is used in the flooring industry to describe the finished top-layer of an engineered wooden floor. For example, an engineered walnut floor will have several layers of wood and a top walnut lamella.

In archaeology the term is used for a variety of small flat and thin objects, such as Amulet MS 5236, a very thin gold plate with a stamped text from Ancient Greece in the 6th century BC.

In textiles, lamella is thin metallic strip used alone or wound around a core thread for goldwork embroidery and tapestry weaving.[1]

In September 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of two medications which contained "extremely thin glass flakes (lamellae) that are barely visible in most cases; the lamellae result from the interaction of the formulation with glass vials over the shelf life of the product."[2]


  1. ^ Schoeser, Mary (2007). Silk. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 248. ISBN 9780300117417. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ Amgen Initiates Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Certain Lots Of Epogen And Procrit (Epoetin Alfa)