Volume 116, Number 2, October 2016
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||18 November 2016|
An analytical hierarchical model explaining the robustness and flaw-tolerance of the interlocking barb-barbule structure of bird feathers
1 Biomechanics Laboratory, School of Biological Science & Medical Engineering, Southeast University Sipailou 2, 210096 Nanjing, PRC
2 Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Kiel University - Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, D-24118 Kiel, Germany
3 School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
4 Laboratory of Bio-Inspired & Graphene Nanomechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento - I-38123 Trento, Italy
5 Centre for Materials and Microsystems, Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Via Sommarive 18, I-38123 Povo (Trento), Italy
6 School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London - Mile End Road E14NS, London, UK
Received: 10 December 2015
Accepted: 18 October 2016
Feathers can fulfill their aerodynamic function only if the pennaceous vane forms an airfoil stabilized by robust interlocking between barbules. Thus, revealing the robustness of the interlocking mechanical behavior of the barbules is very important to understand the function and long-term resilience of bird feathers. This paper, basing on the small- and large-beam deflection solutions, presents a hierarchical mechanical model for deriving the critical delamination conditions of the interlocking barbules between two adjacent barbs in bird feathers. The results indicate a high robustness and flaw-tolerant design of the structure. This work contributes to the understanding of the mechanical behavior of the robust interlocking barb-barbule structure of the bird feather, and provides a basis for design of feather-inspired materials with robust interlocking mechanism, such as advanced bio-inspired micro-zipping devices.
PACS: 46.70.Lk – Other structures / 46.25.-y – Static elasticity / 62.20.M- – Structural failure of materials
© EPLA, 2016
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