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Spicules are rigid structural materials: sponges

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Microscopic sponge spicules / Zeichner (NO.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The spicules of sponges are rigid structural materials due to their mineralized composition.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"There are yet other rigid materials, what Wainwright et al. (1976) refer to as 'stony materials' and Vincent (1990) calls 'biological ceramics.' These are distinguished by being very heavily mineralized, with more mineral (some inorganic salt) than organic matter. Some are tiny, such as the spicules of even very large sponges--made mainly of either calcium carbonate or silica (roughly, glass). Others occur in massive pieces, such as the skeletons of the stony corals and the shells of most mollusks, both made of calcium carbonate with a small amount of organic matter…On the general matter of what occurs where and how it's put together, Brown (1975) remains a useful source." (Vogel 2003:305)
About the inspiring organism
Porifera
Porifera

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: High voltage insulators, thermal insulators, (self-assembling) structural materials for buildings.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Utilities, materials science, electronics, building

References
Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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