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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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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Ann R. Thryft   6/21/2012 11:51:44 AM
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Wiliiam, thanks for the feedback. The oriented chitin fibers on the outside of the club also caught my attention, as did the organized and rotated layers of chitin fibers. That sounds like basic fiber-composites structure. In fact, it made me wonder if, historically, our modern fiber composites were inspired by nature in the first place. Anybody know the answer?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Ann R. Thryft   6/21/2012 11:50:56 AM
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There's a link in the first sentence of my article to the Science article describing this structure in as much detail as the authors are willing to divulge. As is typical of some university R&D efforts aimed at commercial development, though, it may not give all the info that some readers would like. (Dave, thanks for the additional link)

Dave Palmer
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Dave Palmer   6/21/2012 11:19:11 AM
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The article from Science magazine can be found here.  Science also has a "perspective" article about this, which can be found here. (Some readers may find this to be behind a pay wall).

TOP
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
TOP   6/21/2012 9:42:19 AM
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I agree. How about at least a link to an article or a paper describing this structure?

Jerry dycus
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Jerry dycus   6/21/2012 8:33:44 AM
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   This has been done for decades on tanks, etc, various layers of different materials to break up the impact, thermal energy.  I use the same idea in my composite EV designs for crash protection.

  Again lack of actual details of the structures hurts this engineering article that one might use. Pic's could help to of a cross section, etc.

  If not the right shape it wouldn't get the speed needed as water drag would be too high.

  Shimpers fear this creature as it splits a finger in a heartbeat if they pick one up or get close to it sorting market shrimp from the bycatch. 

 Sadly this style of shrimping, fishing dragging nets across the bottom is killing our fisheries and should be banned because it destroys the habitat, young fish, coral, plants, etc that sealife needs to live and we need to eat.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Biomimetic Structures
Beth Stackpole   6/21/2012 8:12:10 AM
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This shrimp species has probably survived forever and taking a page from Mother Nature and replicating its structures for materials design, especially for military body armor is inspiring. I love it!

williamlweaver
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Biomimetic Structures
williamlweaver   6/21/2012 7:41:05 AM
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Wow, this is neat. I'm also impressed by the teardrop shape of the shrimp club --- I'm assuming that the high velocity achieved though water is the result of some nifty fluid dynamics and complex vortex shedding... Oriented fiber- and hybrid composites continue to behave magically, based on the systematic perspective that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Now I'm just waiting for grant money to investigate the turkey club -- it's almost lunch time.

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