152. reinforcements in avian wing bones: experiments, analysis, and modeling

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Joanna M. McKittrick

Primary Student
Name: Sean Nolan Garner
Email: sgarner@ucsd.edu
Phone: 661-575-7399
Grad Year: 2022

Student Collaborators
Keisuke Matsushita, akmatsus@eng.ucsd.edu

Abstract
Almost all species of modern birds are capable of flight; the mechanical competency of their wings and the rigidity of their skeletal system evolved to enable this outstanding feat. One of the most interesting examples of structural adaptation in birds is the internal structure of their wing bones. In flying birds, bones need to be sufficiently strong and stiff to withstand forces during takeoff, flight, and landing, with a minimum of weight. The cross-sectional morphology and presence of reinforcing structures (struts and ridges) found within bird wing bones vary from species to species, depending on how the wings are utilized. It is shown that both morphology and internal features increases the resistance to flexure and torsion with a minimum weight penalty. Prototypes of these reinforcing structures fabricated by 3D printing were tested in compression and torsion to validate the concept. In compression, the amount of ovalization decreased through the insertion of struts, while they had no effect on torsional resistance. An elastic model of a circular ring reinforced by horizontal and vertical struts is developed to explain the compressive stiffening response of the ring caused by differently oriented struts.Almost all species of modern birds are capable of flight; the mechanical competency of their wings and the rigidity of their skeletal system evolved to enable this outstanding feat. One of the most interesting examples of structural adaptation in birds is the internal structure of their wing bones. In flying birds, bones need to be sufficiently strong and stiff to withstand forces during takeoff, flight, and landing, with a minimum of weight. The cross-sectional morphology and presence of reinforcing structures (struts and ridges) found within bird wing bones vary from species to species, depending on how the wings are utilized. It is shown that both morphology and internal features increases the resistance to flexure and torsion with a minimum weight penalty. Prototypes of these reinforcing structures fabricated by 3D printing were tested in compression and torsion to validate the concept. In compression, the amount of ovalization decreased through the insertion of struts, while they had no effect on torsional resistance. An elastic model of a circular ring reinforced by horizontal and vertical struts is developed to explain the compressive stiffening response of the ring caused by differently oriented struts.

Industry Application Area(s)
Materials | Biological Materials

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