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Bionic design in anti-bending and lightweight tube based on the tarsometatarsus of ostrich

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When ostrich (Struthio camelus) runs, its tarsometatarsus swings at a high frequency and has a small mass but can carry the weight of the whole body, which is enough to indicate that tarsometatarsus has the lightweight and anti-bending properties. The results of scanning electron microscope (SEM) showed that there were no significant differences in the microstructure of different locations of tarsometatarsus. The compression test was performed, and the average compressive strength of the specimens at each sampling location was obtained. The results showed that the compressive strength of the tarsometatarsus in inside and outside orientations is smaller than that in front and back orientations. Therefore, the superior load-carrying capacity of tarsometatarsus is related to its morphological structure. Based on the morphological and structural characteristics of ostrich tarsometatarsus, the bionic tube was designed, and three kinds of tubes were designed as the control. Further, the finite element analysis of the anti-bending property of the four tubes was performed under static load. The result indicated that the bionic tube had lower mass and higher specific stiffness structural efficiency, and the result of the simulation was verified by the cantilever compression test.

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We thank the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51675221, 91748211), the Science and Technology Development Planning Project of Jilin Province of China (No. 20180101077JC), the Science and Technology Research Project in the 13th Five-Year Period of Education Department of Jilin Province (No. JJKH20190134KJ), and the Graduate Innovation Fund of Jilin University (No. 101832018C006).

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Correspondence to Rui Zhang or Lige Wen.

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Zhang, R., Pang, H., Han, D. et al. Bionic design in anti-bending and lightweight tube based on the tarsometatarsus of ostrich. Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-020-00876-z

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  • Ostrich tarsometatarsus
  • High anti-bending and lightweight properties
  • Morphological structure
  • Bionic tube