Category Archives: tension

airtight and flexible, the Arampaima skin

engineersfinBrazil’s Amazon waterways are home to the feared piranha. The razor-like teeth of these aggressive fish make quick work of most prey. However, large Arapaima fish share space with piranha, even in crowded ponds. Arapaima are one of the largest freshwater fish, reaching 300 pounds and a length of 8 feet (2.5 meters).
Arapaima
Piranhas have learned that the Arapaima’s armor-like protective scales cannot be overcome. These scales have a hard, mineralized shell-like surface which is anchored to underlying flexible muscle.

Technical application:

body construction, flexible ceramic

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bio-inspired spring to reach your tall targets

Cucumber_Image2_605.jpg.w300h171 CucumberVine3.jpg.w300h452It has long been known that many climbing plants produce unusual tendrils for grasping and climbing. When stretched tightly, the spiral-shaped fibers do not unwind to a flat ribbon like a typical spring shape such as a telephone cord. Instead, when stretched, sections of the fiber coil further in two opposite directions, tightening and strengthening the fiber.  This allows the plant to pull itself upward toward sunlight by grasping onto a branch or trellis.

 

Technical application:

machinery, robotics, and biomedicine

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The design of trees helps to reduce plastic waste

whitebarkpineMany trees do not have vertical capillary tubes for transporting water upward. Instead, a plastic-water-bottlespiral network of capillaries and fibers extend the entire length of the tree. This helical geometry strengthens the tree, allowing a greater flexibility or bending motion in high wind or during heavy weight loads. The spiral pattern is sometimes noticed on the surface of dead trees which have lost their bark.

 

Technical application:

less material useage

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Use algae to create meachanical nano gears

diatom1 diatom2Diatoms are microscopic, single-celled algae. They are typically a few microns in diameter, ten times smaller than the width of a human hair. There are many thousands of distinct diatom species known, in both plant and animal varieties. They exist in countless numbers in the sea and are the base of many food webs.

 

Technical application:

unexpected high

 

 

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use liana or an air-beam to conquer long distances

lianaTensairity® is a revolutionary light weight beam element developed by Airlight Ldt. The synergetic combination of an airbeam, cables and struts leads to this extraorditensartitynary light weight structure, using very low internal pressure but with the load bearing capacity of conventional steel girders.

 

 

 

 

 

Technical application:

huge constructions over long distances

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Mussel-Inspired ‘Glue’ for Surgical Repair

sea_shell_glueWhen it comes to sticking power under wet conditions, marine mussels are hard to beat. They can adhere to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces, sustaining their tenacious bonds in saltwater, including turbulent tidal environments.

Technical application:

unexpected high! Continue reading Mussel-Inspired ‘Glue’ for Surgical Repair

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?

Building based on mechanical stiffness of sea-sponges

sponge The Euplectella aspergillum is a cylindrical sponge that lives intropical waters. It has a height of 45 cm. Its exoskeleton conbionic_buildingsists of hydrated, amorphous silicon dioxide organized into a complexnetwork of spicules that supports the structure. These fibres, whichare 5-10 cm long and as thin as a hair form a crown at the foot ofthe network that anchors the sponge to the bottom of the ocean.

Technical application:

tall structures

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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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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)