Scientists at Cornell University, Purdue University and Case Western Reserve University have created a new 3D-printed material inspired by human bones. The team says bones and 3D-printed buildings have something in common. They have columns and beams inside them and determine their service life.
The team says that simulating how human bones handle a lifetime of wear and tear can come up with 3D-printed lightweight materials. This material has a long life span and can be used more practically in buildings, aircraft and other structures. The team found that by simulating the mechanisms associated with human bones, artificial materials can last up to 100 times longer.
Scientists say the bones are a building whose pillars carry most of the load and use beams to connect them. The durability of the bone comes from a spongy structure called a girder. This is a network of interconnected vertical plate-shaped support rods and horizontal rod-shaped support rods that act as cylinders and beams. The denser the girder, the more elastic the bones are in their daily activities.
The team found that in bones, seemingly insignificant horizontal pillars increased the fatigue life of the bones. The team determined that the role of horizontal pillars in human bones may be more important than previously thought, so they designed a 3D-printed polymer with a small beam-like structure that would make 3D-printed buildings stronger. Tests have shown that the application of a load on this 3D-printed polymer confirms that the thicker the horizontal pillar, the longer the polymer is subjected to the load. The thicker pillars did not significantly increase the quality of the polymer, leading the team to believe that the design would help to produce lighter, more elastic materials.