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Engineering Materials
Body Armor Is Inspired by Shrimp
6/21/2012

The mantis shrimp's club-like arms have a unique structure that makes them extremely strong, tough, and lightweight, which could be adapted to make better body armor for soldiers.   (Source: Silke Baron)
The mantis shrimp's club-like arms have a unique structure that makes them extremely strong, tough, and lightweight, which could be adapted to make better body armor for soldiers.
(Source: Silke Baron)

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Rob Spiegel   6/22/2012 1:39:11 PM
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Good point about creativity, Ann. Even the pharmaceutical industry is looking to nature for solutions. I attended a Chile Institute conference and there were pharma researchers attending. They were looking into the pain-killing qualities of the hot chemical in peppers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: self healing
Ann R. Thryft   6/22/2012 12:08:59 PM
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ChasChas, great question. Since the material is organic, and considering the incredible stresses it undergoes during the shrimp's lifetime, that's certainly a possibility.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Ann R. Thryft   6/22/2012 12:03:33 PM
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Thanks for the positive feedback, folks. I was taught that creativity starts with, and is fed by, seeing things in unusual ways. I think that the engineers that look at a shrimp with incredibly strong clubby arms and come up with an idea for a new composite material are creative people who might solve a particular problem faster and cheaper than other methods. Nature has been at this an incredibly longer time than we have: about 3.5 billion years. I think reporting on biomimetics can provide inspiration for working engineers, whether they're designing materials or using them.

ChasChas
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self healing
ChasChas   6/22/2012 11:42:52 AM
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Are there self-healing properties that add to the life span of these clubs? Structure alone may not be the whole story.

Charles Murray
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Charles Murray   6/21/2012 8:05:10 PM
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I agree, Rob. Great article. I wonder if the reserachers used finite element analysis to study this.

gsmith120
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
gsmith120   6/21/2012 6:02:38 PM
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I agree Rob...Ann I too enjoy your articles.  It is very interesting to read about how someone can look at something as simple as a shrimp, crab, snake or the like and develop unique and innovative things.  That's a very interesting looking and colorful shrimp Ann I too enjoy your artilces.  It is very interesting to read about how someone can look at something as simple as a shrimp, crab, snake or the like and develop unique and novative things. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Rob Spiegel   6/21/2012 4:58:53 PM
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Ann, I love these stories of yours about taking nature's technology and applying it to human needs. I would guess this is just the beginning.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Ann R. Thryft   6/21/2012 2:10:17 PM
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TOP, could you try those links again? The first one gives an error message, and the second one goes to an abstract of a seminar on biomimetics, not an article on the shrimp-inspired armor.

TOP
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
TOP   6/21/2012 1:38:43 PM
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Here is a link to another article at phys.org.

 

Here is a link to another article at the School of Engineering, Lausanne

 

 

TOP
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
TOP   6/21/2012 12:39:37 PM
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Thanks. Yes that was the link. I'm used to "An article in Science recently....." being the link.


Was there anything about the mechanism to provide reactions for this rapid movement? When something is moving this fast and with this much power there has to be some way to provide support for the arms.

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