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Open AccessArticle

Design of a Bio-Inspired Anti-Erosion Structure for a Water Hydraulic Valve Core: An Experimental Study

College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030063
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 3 September 2019 / Accepted: 5 September 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ICBE2019)
Animals and plants have numerous active protections for adapting to the complex and severe living environments, providing endless inspiration for extending the service life of materials and machines. Conch, a marine animal living near the coast and chronically suffering from the erosion of sand in water, has adapted to the condition through its anti-erosion conch shell. Romanesco broccoli, a plant whose inflorescence is self-similar in character, has a natural fractal bud’s form. Coupling the convex domes on the conch shell and the fractal structure of Romanesco broccoli, a novel valve core structure of a water hydraulic valve was designed in this paper to improve the particle erosion resistance and valve core’s service life. Three models were built to compare the effect among the normal structure, bionic structure, and multi-source coupling bionic structures, and were coined using 3D printing technology. A 3D printed water hydraulic valve was manufactured to simulate the working condition of a valve core under sand erosion in water flow, and capture the experimental videos of the two-phase flow. Furthermore, based on the water hydraulic platform and one-camera-six-mirror 3D imaging subsystem, the experiment system was established and used to compare the performance of the three different valve cores. As a result, the results showed that the coupling bionic structure could effectively improve the anti-erosion property of the valve core and protect the sealing face on the valve core from wear. This paper presents a novel way of combining advantages from both animal (function bionic) and plant (shape bionic) in one component design. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-inspired design; water hydraulic valve; multi-source coupling bionic; fractal structure; anti-erosion; 3D printing bio-inspired design; water hydraulic valve; multi-source coupling bionic; fractal structure; anti-erosion; 3D printing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, H.; Xu, H.; Zhang, Y.; Chen, S.; Zhao, Z.; Chen, J. Design of a Bio-Inspired Anti-Erosion Structure for a Water Hydraulic Valve Core: An Experimental Study. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 63.

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