Biomimicry
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For Warmer Surfers, Leave it to Beaver-inspired Wetsuits

For Warmer Surfers, Leave it to Beaver-inspired Wetsuits | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Even though they don't have a thick layer of blubber, animals such as beavers and sea otters are still able to stay warm when diving in frigid waters. How do they do it? Well, they trap an insulating layer of air between the hairs of their fur. MIT scientists have taken that concept and run with it (or swum with it), creating a bioinspired material that could be used to make lighter, warmer wetsuits.
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A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle

A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] the ‘polar bear pavilion’ is a prototype of a textile membrane structure, which offers new energy saving solutions for human habitations. The name says it all – despite the fact it is not intended for them, the inspiration for the outer layer of the building came from polar bears. “We came across the polar bear principle when we were studying older bionics books from the 1980s and decided to use it for our work on textile membrane structures. Rather than copying it directly, we studied the physical properties of polar bear skin and used other materials to imitate it,” said project leader Dr. Thomas Stegmaier of the Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering (ITV) in Denkendorf. "

 

Photo details: Polar Bear (Sow) , Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska. Copyright © 2007, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze?

Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Despite living in frigid temperatures and getting wet, penguins’ feathers remain free of ice. How is that possible? [...] The answer is in the microstructure of penguins' feathers. The feathers are comprised of “a network of barbs, wrinkled barbules and tiny interlocking hooks. In addition to being hydrophobic, this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive. [...] Based on their discoveries about the feathers’ microstructure, the scientists recreated the design in a nanofiber membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material, which they say could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation."

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