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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Tricking Termites to Generate New Materials

 A new kind of biomimicry

Mimicking Termites to Generate Materials

California Institute of Technology

Ben Peltz,  August 26, 2022

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists have developed a framework for the design of new materials that was inspired by termite nest-building. Caltech's Chiara Daraio said the researchers approached the challenge by considering limited resources, an architectural approach based on local rules. "We created a numerical program for materials' design with similar rules that define how two different material blocks can adhere to one another," she explained. The virtual growth program models the natural growth of biological structures, connecting L-shaped, I-shaped, T-shaped, and +-shaped virtual blocks whose availability is assigned a limit, mimicking the limited resources termites might encounter. The algorithm constructs an architecture on a grid, which can be rendered as two-dimensional or three-dimensional models. ... 

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