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Author Topic: Can things be both light and strong?  (Read 2188 times)

Offline thedoc

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Can things be both light and strong?
« on: 13/02/2014 12:52:41 »
Scientists have copied the structure of bone to create strong yet light synthetic materials...

Read the whole story on our website by clicking here

  
« Last Edit: 13/02/2014 12:52:41 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can things be both light and strong?
« Reply #1 on: 13/02/2014 22:09:30 »
It is not necessarily new to incorporate air into a structure.  Your basic foam is essentially air + polystyrene.  Some of the lightest materials are Aerogel, aerographite. and metallic microlattice.

3D Printing may allow creating very custom engineering structures.  For example one might design a hard, dense shell, covering a loose webbing, and potentially even add strand orientation for expected stress patterns.  Of course one may also be able to engineer non-printing methods to merge a shell over a lattice structure.

Honeycombs are strong structures, and it sounds like there may be a benefit of miniaturizing the honeycomb size.

As far as bone...  would it be possible to engineer osteoblasts and osteoclasts to maintain your artificial structure?
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Can things be both light and strong?
« Reply #2 on: 15/02/2014 08:57:07 »
As one of our most common building materials, iron is strong, but also very dense.

It's not commercially available at present, but some forms of carbon (like diamond, carbon nanofibers and graphene) are strong, but much lower density than iron.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Can things be both light and strong?
« Reply #3 on: 15/02/2014 13:14:29 »
For example one might design a hard, dense shell, covering a loose webbing, and potentially even add strand orientation for expected stress patterns.  Of course one may also be able to engineer non-printing methods to merge a shell over a lattice structure.
As has been done for many years in building aircraft wings. Several light aircraft use a GRP shell over styrofoam to give a more continuous contour than you can get with conventional ribs, and simple model planes use self-skinned polyurethane which is virtually crashproof.

The real fun trick, however, would be to design a material as intelligent as bone, which responds to stress by increasing its local rigidity.

Quote
As one of our most common building materials, iron is strong, but also very dense.
Which is why we use it to make lattice frameworks which we infill with insulating materials like wood, brick, concrete foam,  etc. The joy of steel is that it isn't brittle and can be joined by screwing or welding sheets and girders. These techniques are much easier to apply in the field (literally) than laying up fiber reinforcements and carefully degassing and annealing the resin bonding material round them, and steel doesn't suffer catastrophic local failure if you drill or cut it after assembly.   
 

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Re: Can things be both light and strong?
« Reply #3 on: 15/02/2014 13:14:29 »

 

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