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How the peak prevents brain damage

By on March 29, 2021 0

How the peak avoids brain damage: Unique anti-shock body structure absorbs 99% of impact energy

  • Woodpeckers can peck trees at high frequencies and at high speeds equivalent to seven meters per second without sustaining brain damage
  • Engineers at Dalian University of Technology in northeast China built a 3D computer model of a peak to examine how the impact is absorbed
  • They found that the structure of his skull and beak reduced the impact on his brain
  • And the bird’s body stores over 99% of the impact energy
  • Insight could lead to better cars and spacecraft that can withstand crashes

The woodpecker’s brain can withstand repeated collisions when it quickly pecks a tree in search of food – and now scientists think they know why.

The bird avoids brain damage, despite repeated high-speed impacts, due to the unique structure of its skull and beak, which reduces the impact on the brain.

Chinese scientists have found that his body stores 99% of impact energy as strain energy – the energy stored by an object that changes temporarily due to an applied force.

The woodpecker avoids brain damage – despite repeated impacts from tree pecking – due to the structure of its skull and beak, which reduces the impact on the brain. Scientists measured stress at different times during the pecking. (a) and (e) are moments of preparation to peck, (b) and (d) are moments of departure and return and (c) marks the moment of collision. The arrows on the slats indicate the direction of the speed. It is clear that the high impact levels (shown in red) propagated through the bird’s body after a collision

WHY ARE SCIENTISTS INTERESTED IN PIC-BOIS?

Experts are interested in how the woodpecker protects its brain and body from shock and vibration, as it could help develop shock-absorbing devices and structures, which could be used in next-generation spacecraft, cars. and protective clothing.

Dr Wu from Dalian University of Technology said that spacecraft face the constant danger of collisions with space debris, which can be costly and put lives in danger.

Scientists could design shock-absorbing materials inspired by the structure of a peak, to dissipate the energy created by an impact in one location and distribute it over a larger area to reduce damage.

New materials could also make car crashes less violent, which could reduce the number of people with serious head injuries in crashes.

Experts are interested in how the woodpecker protects its brain and body from shock and vibration, as it could help develop shock-absorbing devices and structures, which could be used in next-generation spacecraft, cars. and protective clothing.

Engineers at the State Key Lab of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, which is part of the engineering mechanics department of Dalian University of Technology in northeast China, found that the peak’s body functions as a excellent shock-absorbing structure absorbing the energy of impacts.

Woodpeckers can peck trees at high frequencies – up to 25 Hertz – and at high speeds equivalent to seven meters per second without sustaining brain damage.

The force of the bird’s peck is 1,000 times the force of gravity – the same as a human banging its head against a wall at a speed of 25 km per hour with each tingle.

Woodpeckers (pictured) can peck trees at high frequency - up to 25 Hz - and at high speed without sustaining brain damage

Woodpeckers (pictured) can peck trees at high frequency – up to 25 Hz – and at high speed without sustaining brain damage

In the study, scientists created 3D computer models of a peak and used programs to understand how its shock-absorbing body structure distributes impact energy.

Dr Wu Chengwei and his team used CT scans of the bird to build their 3D computer model.

“Based on the computed tomography technology, detailed images of the internal structure of the head were obtained and then imported into the Mimics software to form a scattered dot model,” they explained.

Other programs were used to complete the geometric model, which was used to test how impact energy was handled by its specially adapted structure.

“Most of the impact energy in the pecking is converted to stress energy stored in the body (99.7%) and there is only a small fraction in the head (0.3% ), “the researchers said.

The structures of the head included the beak and hyoid bone which further reduce the stress energy of the brain.

The small fraction of impact energy that enters the brain will eventually dissipate as heat, causing the temperature to rise rapidly in the brain.

Therefore, the woodpecker should intermittently peck and take short breaks.

The results of the study, published in the journal Science China Technological Science, could be used to design shock-absorbing devices and structures, which could be used in next-generation spacecraft, cars and protective clothing.

“High-speed impacts and collisions can destroy structures and materials,” Dr Wu said.

“In the aerospace industry, spacecraft face the constant danger of collisions with space debris and micrometeoroids.”

“If the structure of a spacecraft or the scientific instruments were destroyed by the impact, the economic loss would be enormous.”

“In cities around the world, car crashes are a persistent threat to human safety and head injuries are common, so there is a real need for new shock-absorbing materials.”

Experts are so interested in how the woodpecker protects his body from shock and vibration, so that they can learn from nature in order to design better cars, for example, that can withstand high-speed impacts. .  An image of a car crash is shown

Experts are so interested in how the woodpecker protects his body from shock and vibration, so that they can learn from nature to design better cars, for example, that can withstand high-speed impacts. . An image of a car crash is shown

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