Mon, Mar 27, 2017 | updated 10:16 AM IST

'Indestructible' bridges come closer to reality

Updated: Jul 14, 2016 12:48 IST

Washington D.C, Jul 14 (ANI): Soon, we might have bridges that cannot be destructed.

The University of Warwick researchers have taken a design process called 'form-finding', inspired by the natural world, to another level.

Form-finding enables the design of rigid structures that follow a strong natural form - structures that are sustained by a force of pure compression or tension, with no bending stresses, which are the main points of weakness in other structures.

This could, for the first time, lead to the design of bridges and buildings that can take any combination of permanent loading without generating complex stresses.

Such structures will have enhanced safety, and long durability, without the need for repair or restructuring.

Researcher Wanda Lewis has been developing mathematical models that implement nature's design principles and produce simple stress patterns in structures. The principles behind her mathematical models are illustrated using physical form-finding experiments involving pieces of fabric or chains, for example.

A piece of fabric is suspended and allowed to relax into its natural, gravitational, minimum energy shape; then that shape is frozen into a rigid object and inverted. She finds the coordinates of this shape through computation by simulating the gravitational forces applied to the structure. This produces a shape (a natural form) that can withstand the load with ease.

Lewis argues that "nature's design principles cannot be matched by conventional engineering design."

While classical architectural designs are appealing to the eye, they aren't necessarily structurally sound: "aesthetics is an important aspect of any design, and we have been programmed to view some shapes, such as circular arches or spherical domes as aesthetic. We often build them regardless of the fact that they generate complex stresses, and are, therefore, structurally inefficient," said Lewis.

The work is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. (ANI)

A simple route to developing new sensors

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 11:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Turns out, there's more to a material used for decades to colour food items than meets the eye.

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London [UK], Mar. 24 (ANI): Following a huge explosion of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun's corona, Tasmania's skyline has been aglow in recent days - with vivid purple and green lights illuminating the horizon.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): What the CRAB!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): According to a new study, places which have weaker non-medical exemption policies for vaccinations can reduce the likelihood of a measles outbreak 140 to 190 percent by strengthening them.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): Higher level of blood sugar and insulin resistance, accompanied by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to more rapid decline in cognitive performance, says a new study.

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New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/disaster management agencies.

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Does universe have a time frame?

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.22 (ANI): Has anybody ever wondered whether our universe has a resting time frame? A researcher is conducting an experiment to find this out.

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Washington D.C.[USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A recent research suggests that essential microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): He already had a research ship, dinosaur and flightless weevil named after him and now, Sir David Attenborough's hat has got another feather in the form of a 430 million-year-old shrimp ancestor.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientists has brought fresh hope to alcoholics as they are trying to find out whether or not treating the addiction is as simple as popping over-the-counter pills.

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Wild chimps 'surprisingly' live longer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): Our close primate relatives, chimpanzees, have longer life span, if kept under the right ecological conditions.

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Restoring Pluto's planetary identity in crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2017 06:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 (ANI): A decade after Pluto was ousted from the planet lineup, a supporter of the now dwarf planet is fighting to restore its title.

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Washington D.C [USA], Mar. 17 (ANI): The risk of hearing loss from exposure to noises is all around us every day and now, a recent study

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Today, over 95 percent of vanilla flavouring used in foods, from cereal to ice cream, is not natural and the production of the synthetic one is taking a toll on

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Good news for those who want to continue using fabric softeners but are afraid of risking the environment as a recent study has paved the way for the "greener"

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet,were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behaviour is still not completely understood.

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New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 13 (ANI): US tech giant Google has announced that using artificial intelligence to identify breast cancer has borne fruitful results.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Turns out, social media is far more accurate than traditional forecasting as a team of researchers has suggested that it can warn us about extreme weather events before they happen- such as hurricanes, storms and floods.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): According to a recent study, arsenic molecules might be used to "fish out" the most toxic elements from radioactive nuclear waste - a breakthrough that could make the decommissioning industry even safer and more effective.

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So, how do financial criminals evade laws?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017 09:06 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Despite preventative measures against bankruptcy fraud and money laundering, criminals are finding ways to exploit differing regulations in the United States and Europe.

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