Biomimetic Deployable Systems in Architecture
The high elasticity of plant structures represents the basis of many plant movements and also allows for reversible deformations. By analyzing suitable biological role models and using new construction materials bio-inspired deployable technical structures without local hinges can be developed. The selection, investigation and basic abstraction of nastic plant movements are the first steps of the applied biomimetic working process. A broad screening of the plant kingdom has revealed a wide range of types of these movements, which can be distinguished in autonomous and non-autonomous movements. Active autonomous movements are driven by motor organs or cells, e.g. by a change of turgor pressure. Passive autonomous movements are typically caused by a change of the physical circumstances in cells or sub-cellular structures, e.g. movement caused by changes of humidity in cell walls. Non-autonomous movements are mostly reversible and occur due to a release of stored elastic energy after an external trigger or by application of mechanical forces. As these deformations show clearly defined actuating elements and mechanics, our investigation concentrates on the latter kinetic systems. Model plants are analyzed morphologically and biomechanically, e.g. by bending, tensile and pressure tests. In a close collaboration between biologists and engineers these kinetic systems are verified with the help of physical models, computer simulations and additional abstraction steps are performed which finally lead to technical applications in biomimetic deployable systems in architecture.
Keywordsplant movements biomimetics deployable structures pliable structures elastic deformation architecture
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