• Strategy

Stems resist buckling: plants


Close-up of cross section of rice stem / Louisa Howar.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The stems of many plants resist buckling using low-density foam cores.

"Anyone who has squashed an empty metal can knows about the second form of buckling; it's called 'local buckling' or 'Brazier buckling...Local buckling does occur in biological columns--it's certainly involved in the lodging of slender crop plants in wind storms, and it can be deliberately induced in any dandelion stem. A low-density foam core reduces susceptibility, and many plants (but not dandelions!) have such cores." (Vogel 2003:378)
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: Mimicking of 'foam' cores in design to prevent buckling in ship hull plates, communication towers, and other relevant engineered structures.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Shipping, engineering, communications, wind energy

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