An analytical hierarchical model explaining the robustness and flaw-tolerance of the interlocking barb-barbule structure of bird feathers
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© 2016 EPLA.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.
AuthorsChen, Q; Gorb, S; Kovalev, A; Li, Z; Pugno, N
- College Publications