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Open AccessArticle

Parametric Analysis of a Spiraled Shell: Learning from Nature’s Adaptable Structures

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Department of Integrated Engineering, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110, USA
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Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, 310A Lowry Hall Box 340911, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
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Departments of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Virginia, Thornton Hall d202, P.O. Box 400259, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Designs 2018, 2(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs2040046
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biologically Inspired Design)
In our current building design philosophy, structural design is based on static predictions of the loads a building will need to withstand and the services it will need to provide. However, one study found that 60% of all buildings are demolished due to obsolescence. To combat our obsolescence-demolition culture, we turn to Nature for lessons about adaptable structural design. In this paper, we investigate the structural adaptability of the T. terebra spiraled turret shell through finite element modeling and parametric studies. The shell is able to change its structure over time to meet changing performance demands—a feat of adaptability that could transform our current infrastructure design. Modeling the shell’s growth process is an early and simple attempt at characterizing adaptability. As the mollusk deposits material overtime, its shell wall thickness changes, and its number of whorls increases. We designed parametric studies around these two modes of growth and investigated their effect on structural integrity and living convenience for the mollusk. By drawing parallels between the shell structure and human structures, we demonstrate connections between engineering challenges and Nature’s solutions. We encourage readers to consider biomimicry as a source of inspiration for their own quantitative studies for a more sustainable world. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomimicry; bioinspired design; natural systems; structures; adaptability; modeling; parametric analysis biomimicry; bioinspired design; natural systems; structures; adaptability; modeling; parametric analysis
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Chen, D.A.; Ross, B.E.; Klotz, L.E. Parametric Analysis of a Spiraled Shell: Learning from Nature’s Adaptable Structures. Designs 2018, 2, 46.

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