Natural structures inspired by biomimicry that generate robust and lightweight systems. 

In a recently published article Advanced Scienceits author Masoud Akbarzadeh from Pennsylvania University builds on biomimicry strategies that allow the Boeing 777 redesign inspired by dragonflies´ wings. Particularly, he and his team have been interested in the surface geometry and internal structure of veins, showing that it´s their intrinsic hierarchical configuration that provides strength and flexibility. This in turn allows such organisms to have providential lift and maneuverability in the air.

Upon close inspection, the researcher and his team have found that the wing is composed of convex polygons that in turn generate a two-dimensional tensile web. As he mentions “the wing is designed for bending movements associated with flapping, rather than a structural network that prevents or dissipates stress or compression”. This could allow lighter aircraft wings that use fewer materials and reduce fuel usage, thus lowering construction costs and greatly reducing carbon emissions. The team was able to recreate the wings at a scale of 1:120 with significant improvements in efficiency. Particularly, the model improved the wing stiffness by 25%.   

Source: Penn Today  

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