Category Archives: composite

future glass will withstand the impact of a baseball

shellHow 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.

Technical application:

ultrastrong glass

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eye-lens camera contact lens and monitoring your body for health purposes

220px-Sony_DSC-H2_01First 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 120px-Eye_Central_Heterochromia_crop_and_lightersurface. 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.

Technical application:

better optical technologies, contact lens

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early bionic inspiration: the study of leg bones leads to the Eiffel Tower

EiffelAn 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.

Technical application:

mesh structures

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Festo´s world of bionic solutions

festo bionicFesto 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.

Technical application:

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Seashells are harder than ceramics and can be printed by your desktop 3D printer?

sea_shellFor 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.cutter

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.

 

Technical application:

unexpected high! Continue reading Seashells are harder than ceramics and can be printed by your desktop 3D printer?

Honeycomb for stiff constructions

honeycombHoneycomb 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.

Technical application:

composit materials, low weight constructions

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Fluid wood instead of plastic for incredible structures

fluid_woodArboform 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:

Technical application:

substitute plastic

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Manta Ray goes beyond air

manta_ray_2Air-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 watemanta_rayr.

 

 

 

Technical application:

 

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Cellulose with 7500N/mm² is stronger than Kevlar (R)

treeThe 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.

Technical application:

substitute for steel or kevlar

Continue reading Cellulose with 7500N/mm² is stronger than Kevlar (R)