Extreme lightweight structures: avian feathers and bones

Published on Sep 1, 2017in Materials Today 24.54
· DOI :10.1016/j.mattod.2017.02.004
Tarah N. Sullivan2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of California, San Diego),
Bin Wang7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 1 AuthorsMarc A. Meyers64
Estimated H-index: 64
(University of California, San Diego)
Abstract
Flight is not the exclusive domain of birds; mammals (bats), insects, and some fish have independently developed this ability by the process of convergent evolution. Birds, however, greatly outperform other flying animals in efficiency and duration; for example the common swift ( Apus apus ) has recently been reported to regularly fly for periods of 10 months during migration. Birds owe this extraordinary capability to feathers and bones, which are extreme lightweight biological materials. They achieve this crucial function through their efficient design spanning multiple length scales. Both feathers and bones have unusual combinations of structural features organized hierarchically from nano- to macroscale and enable a balance between lightweight and bending/torsional stiffness and strength. The complementary features between the avian bone and feather are reviewed here, for the first time, and provide insights into nature's approach at creating structures optimized for flight. We reveal a novel aspect of the feather vane, showing that its barbule spacing is consistently within the range 8–16 μm for birds of hugely different masses such as Anna's Hummingbird ( Calypte anna ) (4 g) and the Andean Condor ( Vultur gryphus ) (11,000 g). Features of the feather and bone are examined using the structure-property relationships that define Materials Science. We elucidate the role of aerodynamic loading on observed reinforced macrostructural features and efficiently tailored shapes adapted for specialized applications, as well as composite material utilization. These unique features will inspire synthetic structures with maximized performance/weight for potential use in future transportation systems.
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References83
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Akira Azuma1
Estimated H-index: 1
256 Citations
Published on Mar 1, 2016in Progress in Materials Science 23.75
Bin Wang7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of California, San Diego),
Wen Yang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of California, San Diego)
+ 1 AuthorsMarc A. Meyers64
Estimated H-index: 64
(University of California, San Diego)
Abstract A ubiquitous biological material, keratin represents a group of insoluble, usually high-sulfur content and filament-forming proteins, constituting the bulk of epidermal appendages such as hair, nails, claws, turtle scutes, horns, whale baleen, beaks, and feathers. These keratinous materials are formed by cells filled with keratin and are considered ‘dead tissues’. Nevertheless, they are among the toughest biological materials, serving as a wide variety of interesting functions, e.g. sca...
105 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1996
Hendrik Tennekes1
Estimated H-index: 1
From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. "The Simple Science of Flight" offers an introduction to the mechanics of flight and, beyond that, to the scientific attitude that finds wonder in simple calculations, forging connections between, say, the energy efficiency of a peanut butter sandwich and that of the kerosene that fuels a jumbo jet. The hero of the book is the Boeing 747, which Tennekes sees as the current pinnacle of human ...
107 Citations
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2.54
Xia Wang9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University College Dublin),
Robert L. Nudds18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Manchester)
+ 1 AuthorsGareth J. Dyke26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Southampton)
The primary feathers of birds are subject to cyclical forces in flight causing their shafts (rachises) to bend. The amount the feathers deflect during flight is dependent upon the flexural stiffness of the rachises. By quantifying scaling relationships between body mass and feather linear dimensions in a large data set of living birds, we show that both feather length and feather diameter scale much closer to predictions for geometric similarity than they do to elastic similarity. Scaling allome...
17 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1972in BioScience 5.88
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Estimated H-index: 1
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Estimated H-index: 1
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Estimated H-index: 1
263 Citations
Published on Jun 13, 1997
Lorna J. Gibson57
Estimated H-index: 57
,
Michael F. Ashby86
Estimated H-index: 86
1. Introduction 2. The structure of cellular solids 3. Material properties 4. The mechanics of honeycombs 5. The mechanics of foams: basic results 6. The mechanics of foams refinements 7. Thermal, electrical and acoustic properties of foams 8. Energy absorption in cellular materials 9. The design of sandwich panels with foam cores 10. Wood 11. Cancellous bone 12. Cork 13. Sources, suppliers and property data Appendix: the linear-elasticity of anisotropic cellular solids.
6,871 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Egor P. Popov32
Estimated H-index: 32
,
Toader A. Balan1
Estimated H-index: 1
1. Stress. 2. Strain. 3. Axial Deformation of Bars: Statically Determinate Systems. 4. Axial Deformation of Bars: Statically Indeterminate Systems. 5. Generalized Hooke's Law: Pressure Vessels. 6. Torsion. 7. Beam Statics. 8. Symmetric Beam Bending. 9. Unsymmetric (Skew) Beam Bending. 10. Shear Stresses in Beams. 11. Stress and Strain Transformation. 12. Yield and Fracture Criteria. 13. Elastic Stress Analysis. 14. Beam Deflections by Direct Integration. 15. Beam Deflections by the Moment-area M...
283 Citations
Published on Jul 28, 2008
C. J. Pennycuick1
Estimated H-index: 1
This book outlines the principles of flight, of birds in particular. It describes a way of simplifying the mechanics of flight into a practical computer program, which will predict in some detail what any bird, real or hypothetical, can and cannot do. The Flight program, presented on the companion website, generates performance curves for flapping and gliding flight, and simulations of long-distance migration and accounts successfully for the consumption of muscles and other tissues during migra...
277 Citations
Published on Nov 1, 1999in Nature 41.58
Mei Li13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Bristol),
Heimo Schnablegger18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Max Planck Society),
Stephen Mann96
Estimated H-index: 96
(University of Bristol)
Coupled synthesis and self-assembly of nanoparticles to give structures with controlled organization
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Published on Jan 1, 1995in The Journal of Experimental Biology 3.18
R. H. C. Bonser1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Peter P. Purslow26
Estimated H-index: 26
The flexural stiffness of the rachis varies along the length of a primary feather, between primaries and between species; the possible contribution of variations in the longitudinal Young9s modulus of feather keratin to this was assessed. Tensile tests on compact keratin from eight species of birds belonging to different orders showed similar moduli (mean E=2.50 GPa) in all species apart from the grey heron (E=1.78 GPa). No significant differences were seen in the modulus of keratin from primari...
113 Citations
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Cited By13
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Materials & Design 4.53
Shuai Wang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Harbin Institute of Technology),
Lujun Huang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Harbin Institute of Technology)
+ 2 AuthorsBaoXi Liu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Hebei University of Technology)
Abstract TMCs are well known materials for their potential use in many fields. However, there are few research on the toughness especially impact toughness of TMCs. To improve impact property of TMCs, one novel kind of titanium matrix composites with two-scale laminate-network structure was fabricated via powder metallurgy and reaction hot pressing. From macro-scale, the novel composites were constituted by Ti6Al4V alloy layers and TiBw/Ti6Al4V composite layers. Moreover, the composite layer exh...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Advanced Materials 21.95
Zengqian Liu4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Zhefeng Zhang32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Robert O. Ritchie89
Estimated H-index: 89
(University of California, Berkeley)
8 Citations Source Cite
Feilong Zhang10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Lei Jiang123
Estimated H-index: 123
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Shutao Wang48
Estimated H-index: 48
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Bird feathers have aroused tremendous attention for their superdurability against tears during long flights through wind and even bushes. Although feathers may inevitably be unzipped, the separated feather vanes can be repaired easily by bill stroking. However, the mechanism underlying bird feathers’ superdurability against tears remains unclear. Here, we reveal that the superdurability of bird feathers arises from their repairable cascaded slide-lock system, which is composed of hooklets, a sli...
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Published on Nov 2, 2018in Science 41.06
Michaela Eder20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Max Planck Society),
Shahrouz Amini1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Max Planck Society),
Peter Fratzl80
Estimated H-index: 80
(Max Planck Society)
The bulk of Earth’s biological materials consist of few base substances—essentially proteins, polysaccharides, and minerals—that assemble into large varieties of structures. Multifunctionality arises naturally from this structural complexity: An example is the combination of rigidity and flexibility in protein-based teeth of the squid sucker ring. Other examples are time-delayed actuation in plant seed pods triggered by environmental signals, such as fire and water, and surface nanostructures th...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of Morphology 1.71
Gian N. Frongia1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Sassari),
Marco Muzzeddu4
Estimated H-index: 4
+ 7 AuthorsSalvatore Naitana23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Sassari)
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Published on Nov 28, 2018in PLOS ONE 2.77
Suzanne Amador Kane6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Haverford College),
Daniel Van Beveren (Haverford College), Roslyn Dakin11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of British Columbia)
Feathers act as vibrotactile sensors that can detect mechanical stimuli during avian flight and tactile navigation, suggesting that they may also detect stimuli during social displays. In this study, we present the first measurements of the biomechanical properties of the feather crests found on the heads of birds, with an emphasis on those from the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus). We show that in peafowl these crest feathers are coupled to filoplumes, small feathers known to function as mechano...
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Published on Feb 1, 2019in Acta Biomaterialia 6.38
Anton du Plessis12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Stellenbosch University),
Chris Broeckhoven6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Antwerp)
Abstract Albert Einstein once said “look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”. Looking deep into nature has in the last few years become much more achievable through the use of high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT). The non-destructive nature of microCT, combined with three-dimensional visualization and analysis, allows for the most complete internal and external “view” of natural materials and structures at both macro- and micro-scale. This capab...
1 Citations Source Cite
Jian Zhang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Guoqi Tan1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 6 AuthorsZhefeng Zhang32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Operating mainly as a type of weapon, the beetle horn develops an impressive mechanical efficiency based on chitinous materials to maximize the injury to opponent and simultaneously minimize the damage to itself and underlying brain under stringent loading conditions. Here the cephalic horn of the beetle Allomyrina dichotoma is probed using multiscale characterization combined with finite element simulations to explore the origins of its biomechanical functionality from the perspective ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Acta Biomaterialia 6.38
Zengqian Liu4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Yanyan Zhang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 4 AuthorsRobert O. Ritchie89
Estimated H-index: 89
(University of California, Berkeley)
Abstract Seeking strategies to enhance the overall combinations of mechanical properties is of great significance for engineering materials, but still remains a key challenge because many of these properties are often mutually exclusive. Here we reveal from the perspective of materials science and mechanics that adaptive structural reorientation during deformation, which is an operating mechanism in a wide variety of composite biological materials, functions more than being a form of passive res...
1 Citations Source Cite