Since most plant movements take place through an interplay of elastic deformation and strengthening tissues, they are thus ideal concept generators for biomimetic hingeless actuators. In the framework of a biomimetic biology push process, we present the transfer of the functional movement principles of hollow tubular geometries that are surrounded by a net-like structure. Our plant models are the recent genera Ochroma
(balsa) and Carica
(papaya) as well as the fossil seed fern Lyginopteris oldhamia
, which hold a net of macroscopic fiber structures enveloping the whole trunk. Asymmetries in these fiber nets, which are specifically caused by asymmetric growth of the secondary wood, enable the up-righting of inclined Ochroma
stems. In a tubular net-like structure, the fiber angles play a crucial role in stress–strain relationships. When braided tubes are subjected to internal pressure, they become shorter and thicker if the fiber angle is greater than 54.7°. However, if the fiber angle is less than 54.7°, they become longer and thinner. In this article, we use straightforward functional demonstrators to show how insights into functional principles from living nature can be transferred into plant-inspired actuators with linear or asymmetric deformation.
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