The engineering industry is constantly evolving as new and innovative technologies and materials are frequently developed. Interestingly an ever-growing scientific field is biomimicry which is the study of how nature can inspire engineering. Nature in many respects holds all the answers and for generations has been providing solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems. Here we take a quick look at some of the amazing ways nature has inspired and indeed continues to inspire the field of engineering.
Geckos have provided a source of inspiration for a new self-cleaning adhesive tape that is able to stick to almost anything, including dusty surfaces. Sticky tape typically becomes less effective over time as it picks up dust and dirt. Yet the self-cleaning ability of gecko’s feet ensures they are able to retain a strong grip over long periods. Gecko’s feet are covered in tiny microscopic hairs that are able to rid themselves of dirt and dust particles due to friction as they drag their toes along a surface. Replicating this process has led to the development of a synthetic material that could recover from contamination in the same way as a dirty gecko foot. It is thought that such a tape could have a wide range of applications in the engineering field, such as in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Birds and their wings have provided a source of inspiration for the aircraft industry since its inception, and it is through the study of how these amazing animals are able to fly that some of the most important flight discoveries were made and airplane design perfected.
Certain animals such as sea urchins seemingly possess self sharpening teeth that remain sharp despite being worn down. Through the study of these creatures scientists discovered that these organisms have special magnesium calcite crystals on the surface of their teeth and are also able to manufacture more of these crystals so that as the tooth wears down, it exposes new sharp crystal corners. The researchers predict that these findings could lead to the design of better mechanical grinding and cutting tools.
Here at Motion Drives and Controls we appreciate the powerful impact nature can have on engineering and many of the products and materials used in our industry could not have been developed without the amazing source of inspiration that is the natural world. We are stockists of a range of engineering products such as Nexen brakes for a variety of industrial applications and industries. For more information about our range of products and services please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our expert team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.