Biomimicry
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New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing

New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Like all injection molding processes, HARBEC heats solid plastic until it liquefies, presses the molten plastic into the cavity of a mold, and waits for the part to cool before ejecting it. This series of steps—melt, press, cool, eject—is called a cycle. When thousands or even millions of parts are being manufactured for a customer, the duration of each cycle is critical, and HARBEC knew that the cooling step was adding up to significant time and energy costs.

The project focused on the challenge of decreasing the time and energy spent during the cooling phase of the injection molding process. Turning to the many cooling systems in nature for inspiration, Terrapin worked with HARBEC’s engineering and manufacturing teams as well as topical experts from our network to innovate on current designs. After abstracting the underlying principles of the fluid-carrying channels in certain leaves, the project team combined these insights with the capabilities of additive manufacturing. The result is a design that reduces the time and energy used by more than 20% compared to conventional solutions. Read the case study for the full account of how we unlocked these significant energy and time savings!
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Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature

Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Have you noticed the tiny contours and crinkles on the surface of a leaf? All those folds bend and absorb light better than if it was flat, helping it receive more rays. It turns out, this same advantageous trait inspired engineers at Princeton University to use similar micro-folds to improve the efficiency of plastic solar cells in solar panels. These man-made energy-collectors are one example of the growing field of engineering known as biomimicry."

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From Thin Air: Making Fuel Like a Tree

From Thin Air: Making Fuel Like a Tree | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Here's how two U.S. firms pursued the holy grail of bioinspired design: artificial photosynthesis.
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Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever'

Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"US engineers have created the "most waterproof material ever" - inspired by nasturtium leaves and butterfly wings. The new "super-hydrophobic" surface could keep clothes dry and stop aircraft engines icing over, they say."

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First Practical "Artificial Leaf" Powers Fuel Cells for Rural Homes

First Practical "Artificial Leaf" Powers Fuel Cells for Rural Homes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Scientists have long been trying to mimic the photosynthesis perfected by leaves -- turning sunlight and water into energy that can be stored. While many have made attempts, there seems to be one group of scientists that have pulled it off. The news comes from the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, where the researchers made their announcement. The "artificial leaf" would be used to generate power for off grid homes in developing areas, and the hope is that one such "leaf" could provide enough energy for an entire household.

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Powerhouse Solar Cell Inspired by Leaf Biomimicry

Powerhouse Solar Cell Inspired by Leaf Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A team of scientists headed up by Princeton University has achieved a whopping 47 percent increase in electricity generation from flexible plastic solar cells, simply by texturing the surface to mimic the wrinkles of a typical leaf."

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Bionic Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight, Water and Air

Bionic Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight, Water and Air | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A tree's leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through the miracle of photosynthesis. Now scientists say they have replicated—and improved—that trick by combining chemistry and biology in a "bionic" leaf.
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Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas

Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

In a recent paper published in Journal of Bionic Engineering, researchers from BERG-IBB studied the topography and wettability of the underside of English weed (Oxalis pes-caprae) leaves using epoxy replicas created via a two-step casting process. Leaves were found to be close to super hydrophobic due to the presence of a characteristic pattern of irregular 100 µm – 200 µm × 60 µm convex papillae. The water repellency properties of such microstructured surfaces may have important applications, including self-cleaning, anti-microbial and anti-fouling.

 

Photo details: SEM image of an epoxy replica of the leaf of English weed. P.M. Pereira, 2013.


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Artificial Leaf Jumps Developmental Hurdle

Artificial Leaf Jumps Developmental Hurdle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Scientists report advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is an important goal. Hydrogen is an important fuel in itself and serves as an indispensible reagent for the production of light hydrocarbon fuels from heavy petroleum feed stocks. Society requires a renewable source of fuel that is widely distributed, abundant, inexpensive and environmentally clean. Society needs cheap hydrogen.
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Self-healing Solar Cells Mimic Leaves

Self-healing Solar Cells Mimic Leaves | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Solar cells based on organic systems have the potential to become less expensive and more environmentally friendly than silicon-based solar cells, the current industry standard. But the sun’s ultraviolet rays deteriorate  their performance. Now North Carolina State University researchers Orlin Velev and Hyung-Jun Koo have designed solar-cell devices with channels that were inspired by the branching vascular channels that circulate life-sustaining nutrients in leaves and human hands."

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Leaf Veins Inspire New Model for Water and Electricity Distribution Networks

Leaf Veins Inspire New Model for Water and Electricity Distribution Networks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A team of biophysicists at Rockefeller University recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters about a new way to design distribution networks based on the veins that carry water and nutrients in most leaves."

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Leaf-shaped solar panels could coat buildings like ivy

Leaf-shaped solar panels could coat buildings like ivy | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The University of Utah is to fund the creation of a colourful array of photovoltaic panels shaped like leaves -- "Solar Ivy" -- that can be used to cover buildings in order to generate energy from the Sun's rays...
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