DINOWEB - dinosaurs web-site  

Complete Data Base of Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tetrapods.
Paleo-News and illustrations. Big electronic PDF-library.

line decor
line decor

Download PDF Paleolibrary


?????????? ?????????
сайт о динозаврах
??????? ?????????

рейтинг сайтов
Free Hit Counters

Free Counter
hit counter javascript

myspace hit counter
Powered by counter.bloke.com

Locations of visitors to this page


A lightweight, biological structure with tailored stiffness: The feather vane.

August 31 , 2016

The flying feathers of birds are keratinous appendages designed for maximum performance with a minimum weight penalty. Thus, their design contains ingenious combinations of components that optimize lift, stiffness, aerodynamics, and damage resistance. This design involves two main parts: a central shaft that prescribes stiffness and lateral vanes which allows for the capture of air. Within the feather vane, barbs branch from the shaft and barbules branch from barbs, forming a flat surface which ensures lift. Microhooks at the end of barbules hold barbs tightly together, providing the close-knit, unified structure of the feather vane and enabling a repair of the structure through the reattachment of un-hooked junctions. Both the shaft and barbs are lightweight biological structures constructed of keratin using the common motif of a solid shell and cellular interior. The cellular core increases the resistance to buckling with little added weight. Here we analyze the detailed structure of the feather barb and, for the first time, explain its flexural stiffness in terms of the mechanics of asymmetric foam-filled beams subjected to bending. The results are correlated and validated with finite element modeling. We compare the flexure of single barbs as well as arrays of barbs and find that the interlocking adherence of barbs to one another enables a more robust structure due to minimized barb rotation during deflection. Thus, the flexure behavior of the feather vane can be tailored by the adhesive hooking between barbs, creating a system that mitigates damage. A simplified three-dimensional physical model for this interlocking mechanism is constructed by additive manufacturing. The exceptional architecture of the feather vane will motivate the design of bioinspired structures with tailored and unique properties ranging from adhesives to aerospace materials.

Statement of Significance

Despite its importance to bird flight, literature characterizing the feather vane is extremely limited. The feather vane is composed of barbs that branch from the main shaft (rachis) and barbules that branch from barbs. In this study, the flexural behavior of the feather barb and the role of barbule connections in reinforcing the feather vane are quantitatively investigated for the first time, both experimentally and theoretically. Through the performed experiments, structure-function relationships within the feather vane are uncovered. Additionally, in the proposed model the sophisticated structure of the barbs and the interlocking mechanism of the feather vane are simplified to understand these processes in order to engineer new lightweight structures and adhesives.

Tarah N. Sullivan, Andreï Pissarenko, Steven A. Herrera, David Kisailus, Vlado A. Lubarda& Marc A. Meyers (2016)
A lightweight, biological structure with tailored stiffness: The feather vane.
Acta Biomaterialia 41: 27-39


Hosted by uCoz