A 3D Imaging of Plants Gives Inspiration to Build Lighter and Stronger Car Material

A team of researchers from Plant Biomechanics Group at University of Freiburg has done a study on natural organisms to find out how they can survive in an environment which full of stress and strain. The natural organisms mentioned here are the plants and the trees in the forests and the stress and strain condition that they are going through is conditions such as too much rain or too much sunlight or even humidity.

This study is done by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology which allows the researchers to take a look at the internal workings of flora which eventually will help to give new insights on the best way to make the best material to be used in making car’s body parts, airplanes and sports equipment in the future.  The key is how to make them but strong enough to endure any stress that is imposed on them, for example, how to make the car’s body part lighter so that the car can move faster but strong at the same time to be able to travel on the road under an unpredictable weather.

Linnea Hesse, a researcher working in the team, mentioned that they wanted to assess the load-bearing capacity of the vascular tissues and then for the first time, they could visualize load-induced deformations non-invasively within a living plant.  She added by explaining that the focus was on optimizing technical ramifications and thus product development in car, aircraft, windmill and sport device construction as these profit from reduced weight and high load-bearing capacity.

While there are still a lot of things that need to be done, however, this can be seen as the first step towards producing a better material.

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