• Strategy

Circular, tapering beams stabilize: plants


Indian Globe Thistle / Jayesh Bheda / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Cantilever-like structures such as long necks and antennae of many organisms stabilize via circular, tapering structure.

"Organisms most often use beams that are circular (or elliptical) in cross section, and for these the common engineering handbooks…don't give such direct solutions. Denny (1988) faced the matter in admirably direct fashion. Some degree of taper, though, is virtually universal, for the branches of trees, for long necks and upheld tails, for archy's long, thin cockroach antennae as well as for the cat's whiskers of mehitabel (Marquis 1927)." (Vogel 2003:373)
About the inspiring organism

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: Cantilevered beams for engineering and building projects that use less material to produce.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Structural engineering, building, waste reduction

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