Next Article in Journal
Design, Manufacturing, and Testing of a New Concept for a Morphing Leading Edge using a Subsonic Blow Down Wind Tunnel
Next Article in Special Issue
Application of Bionic Technologies on the Fracturing Plug
Previous Article in Journal
A Case Study of Adding Proactivity in Indoor Social Robots Using Belief–Desire–Intention (BDI) Model
Previous Article in Special Issue
Development of Mixed Flow Fans with Bio-Inspired Grooves
Open AccessArticle

Biomimetic Groundwork for Thermal Exchange Structures Inspired by Plant Leaf Design

1
Department of Biology, Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
2
Myers School of Art and Department of Biology, Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4040075
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 13 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ICBE2019)
Geometry is a determining factor for thermal performance in both biological and technical systems. While biology has inspired thermal design before, biomimetic translation of leaf morphology into structural aspects of heat exchangers remains largely unaddressed. One determinant of plant thermal endurance against environmental exposure is leaf shape, which modulates the leaf boundary layer, transpiration, evaporative cooling, and convective exchange. Here, we lay the research groundwork for the extraction of design principles from leaf shape relations to heat and mass transfer. Leaf role models were identified from an extensive literature review on environmentally sensitive morphology patterns and shape-dependent exchange. Addressing canopy sun–shade dimorphism, sun leaves collected from multiple oak species exceeded significantly in margin extension and shape dissection. Abstracted geometries (i.e., elongated; with finely toothed edges; with few large-scale teeth) were explored with paper models of the same surface area in a controlled environment of minimal airflow, which is more likely to induce leaf thermal stress. For two model characteristic dimensions, evaporation rates were significantly faster for the dissected geometries. Shape-driven transfer enhancements were higher for the smaller models, and finely toothed edges reached local cooling up to 10 °C below air temperature. This investigation breaks new ground for solution-based biomimetics to inform the design of evaporation-assisted and passively enhanced thermal systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: leaf morphology; heat exchange; thermal design; bio-inspired structures; evaporation; shape analysis leaf morphology; heat exchange; thermal design; bio-inspired structures; evaporation; shape analysis
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Rupp, A.I.K.S.; Gruber, P. Biomimetic Groundwork for Thermal Exchange Structures Inspired by Plant Leaf Design. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 75.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop