Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

Wobbly rulers and elastic strings: how to measure change

In Publications on 2011/02/21 at 10:52 am

My work on the characterisation of density engineered foams fabricated with ultrasound has been published recently in the Journal of Material Science (vol 46, no. 2)

This is ongoing work on one of my favourite research topics: how can macroscopic properties be extrapolated from microscopic characteristics.

In particular, this piece of work deals with the lack of measurement techniques available for functionally tailored materials. Traditionally, we have measured material’s bulk values: Young’s moduli, Poisson’s ratios, densities, etc. We assumed the material was homogeneous and isotropic, equally distributed.

But how homogeneous can a material be if you look close enough?

Especially when dealing with natural materials such as bones or plant stems. How homogeneous is homogeneous?  It is not, is it? And if it is heterogeneous, how do you measure, quantify that property? Bulk values are no longer valid, and a new strategy for the measurement of engineered or tailored materials has to be thought of.

I present a new systematic way in an attempt to start cracking this challenge that Biomimetics holds. And the work continues.


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