How do sea shells stay in one piece as they are buffeted constantly by strong currents and waves? After all, most shells consist of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) which is a brittle and relatively weak material. Calcium carbonate takes many forms including marble, limestone, and chalk.
One secret of success is the distribution of fine cracks within the shell structure.
Continue reading future glass will withstand the impact of a baseball
First watch the video below!
Cameras have long mimicked the optics of the eye. Both collect and focus light with a convex outer lens. However, cameras have a shortcoming: They typically focus the image onto a flat surface. Whether this surface is covered with film or a digital sensor, distortion results from the projecting of light from a curved lens onto the flat surface. The insertion of additional lenses reduces the distortion, but this adds to camera weight and cost. Our eye with its hemispherical shape has no such problem.
better optical technologies, contact lens
Continue reading eye-lens camera contact lens and monitoring your body for health purposes
An international exhibition took place in Paris in 1889, the early counterpart of today’s World’s Fairs. During the planning stage there was competition between architects for new structures to commemorate the grand event. One French engineer, Gustave (Gustavo) Eiffel (1832-1923), went to an unusual source for new design ideas. He reviewed the work of anatomist Herman von Meyer.1 In the 1850s, Meyer had studied the human femur, or thighbone, which connects to the hip.
Continue reading early bionic inspiration: the study of leg bones leads to the Eiffel Tower
Festo has been working intensively on the topic of bionics since the early 90s. In 2006, the Bionic Learning Network was launched – an association of renowned universities, institutes and development companies. Since this time, Festo has been developing and supporting projects and test objects whose basic technical principles are derived from a wide variety of principles found in nature.
Continue reading Festo´s world of bionic solutions
For example, an abalone shell is stronger than high-tech ceramics because of its internal structure. Diatom shells are made of silica (glass), but they are extremely strong because of their stress-distributing pattern of holes.
Like nature, 3-D printers can excel at building complex structures from simple materials, said Benyus. Both use an additive process, meaning larger pieces are built up from smaller ones.
unexpected high! Continue reading Seashells are harder than ceramics and can be printed by your desktop 3D printer?
Honeycomb structures are natural or man-made structures that have the geometry of a honeycomb to allow the minimization of the amount of used material to reach minimal weight and minimal material cost.
composit materials, low weight constructions
Continue reading Honeycomb for stiff constructions
Arboform acts a lot like any other petroleum-based plastic to a manufacturer. It can be injection-molded as a heated liquid to form any shape. But Arboform is not made of petroleum. Instead, it is made of “Lignin, combined with resins, flax and other natural fibers” as described in this article:
Continue reading Fluid wood instead of plastic for incredible structures
Air-ray, modelled on the manta ray, is a remote-controlled hybrid construction consisting of a helium-filled ballonet and a beating wing drive. Its lightweight design enables it to “swim” in the sea of air using the lift from the helium in a similar way to the manta ray in water.
Continue reading Manta Ray goes beyond air
The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust.
substitute for steel or kevlar
Continue reading Cellulose with 7500N/mm² is stronger than Kevlar (R)