Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Citrus fruit inspires a new energy-absorbing metal structure

Date:
December 3, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
It has been said that nature provides us with everything that we need. A new study may lend credence to that claim. Researchers have developed an aluminum hybrid that could be used to optimize technical components and safety materials. And the inspiration came from an unexpected source - the peel of the pomelo fruit (Citrus maxima). Pomelo fruits have a mass of one to two kilograms, but are able to withstand impact forces resulting from falls of over 10 meters. The fruit's impact resistance is mainly due to the hierarchical structuring of the peel, which is made up of a graded, fiber-reinforced foam. The new aluminum hybrid is the product of a bio-inspired approach, combining metals with different mechanical properties that reflect these naturally occurring structures and mimic the strength of the pomelo peel.

Pomelo fruit (Citrus maxima).
Credit: © adulsak / Fotolia

It has been said that nature provides us with everything that we need. A new study appearing in Springer's Journal of Materials Science may lend credence to that claim. Researchers from the Foundry Institute of the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, and Plant Biomechanics Group of the University of Freiburg, Germany, have developed an aluminum hybrid that could be used to optimize technical components and safety materials. And the inspiration came from an unexpected source -- the peel of the pomelo fruit (Citrus maxima).

Related Articles


Pomelo fruits have a mass of one to two kilograms, but are able to withstand impact forces resulting from falls of over 10 meters. The fruit's impact resistance is mainly due to the hierarchical structuring of the peel, which is made up of a graded, fiber-reinforced foam. The new aluminum hybrid is the product of a bio-inspired approach, combining metals with different mechanical properties that reflect these naturally occurring structures and mimic the strength of the pomelo peel.

To make use of the pomelo's ability to absorb impact energy, the "block mold casting" process was modified, and the pomelo foam's strut composition was transferred to a metal hybrid. This hybrid consists of highly ductile pure aluminum in the center and a high strength aluminum-silicon alloy in the outer shell.

The composite exhibits a much higher tensile strength (the force needed to break something apart) than pure aluminum, and a much higher ductility (the ability to withstand permanent changes in shape) than the aluminum-silicon alloy. This new combination of materials exhibits a novel behavior under load, and the authors suggest safety materials as the best and most obvious use for the new bio-inspired composite material they've created.

"The demands of designers and consumers on forthcoming components will be increased in the future," said Sebastian F. Fischer of RWTH Aachen University, lead author of the study. "The main reason for this is the need for energy-saving, light-weight products, especially in the automotive industry. These challenges can be met by enhanced material properties or composites. And while the development of new materials is increasingly difficult, the joining of different materials with different properties holds a lot of promise."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian F. Fischer, Marc Thielen, Philipp Weiί, Robin Seidel, Thomas Speck, Andreas Bόhrig-Polaczek, Matthias Bόnck. Production and properties of a precision-cast bio-inspired composite. Journal of Materials Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10853-013-7878-4

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Citrus fruit inspires a new energy-absorbing metal structure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203091453.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, December 3). Citrus fruit inspires a new energy-absorbing metal structure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203091453.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Citrus fruit inspires a new energy-absorbing metal structure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203091453.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins