Introduction biomimetic material. Polymers are materials bound


has been the only constant since the origin of the earth, surviving and evolving with
time. Biomimetics is the study of nature(materials, organisms, and animals) and
natural phenomena to see how we can take motivation and ideas and implement
them to solve today’s modern problems. With all the technological and mechanical
advancements in recent years the human beings are one of the most evolved beings
on this planet but with advancements comes problems which require solutions.
There is no better solution to a problem that nature cannot give because of the
simple fact that nature has been here since the inception of the earth and
there is no issue/problem so big that nature has not already solved. We can see
that nature has sustained for millions of years without a setback. So we only
need to see the patterns, the clues, the ideas and we can solve problems and
become more efficient. Examples of biomimetics can be the bullet train whose
model is based on the kingfisher bird or velcro which is based on the principle
as to how the burr sticks to dog’s hair or how birds gave the idea about
man-controlled flights. The examples and ideas are everywhere. Some of the examples
discussed in class are self-cleaning lotus leafs, efficient ventilation of termite
nests, materials based hydrophobic nature of plants, etc.

Biomimetic Materials are man-made(synthetic) materials which
mimic the properties of various animal/natural tissues or nature itself. The polymer
is an example of biomimetic material. Polymers are materials bound by covalent
bonds which occur between carbon and hydrogen atoms along with weak van der
walls forces. With different ages of human civilization came different material
specific to that particular age. The present millennium is the age of materials
and with rapid growth in material sciences the production of synthetic
materials is on the rise and we can see various biomimetic materials coming up
with different properties. Biomimetic polymer materials are nothing but an
improved breed of polymers with improved characteristics and properties and
have taken the idea of their structure from nature. It can help in creating
super flexible, high strength, low corrosion, low reactivity, ductile, elastic
material which can have numerous uses in various industries. The above-mentioned
properties are only a handful, but if we tap into the potential of biomimetics
we can have various different materials with various different properties
befitting the use/role of that particular material. The biomimetic material can
be used in various industries like aeronautics, medicine, FMCGs, etc.

Class experience
and Summary

Material science for managers is a newly introduced subject
in the curriculum. This class focused on material science specially
biomimetics. With a little knowledge of material science from our previous courses,
this new subject has introduced us to the world of biomimicry. Biomimetics is
taking motivation from the nature to make more sustainable and unique materials.
We have learned how nature is a time-tested problem solver and we only need to
look at the ideas and this could lead to increased efficiency in various
fields. We have learned how with the help of biomimicry we can produce new
materials and improve the already existing ones. The future technology should
be sustainable in nature and biomimetics helps us understand how we can use
natural resources/organisms or other things to help become more sustainable. We
also studied that natural polymers are hydrophilic in nature and they have a
lot of oxygen and hence they decompose naturally whereas hydrocarbons are

leading-edge serrations play a crucial role in aerodynamic force production and
sound reduction

The idea of man-controlled flights is owed to the birds. The idea
date back to the time when Leonardo DaVinci visualized how a bird takes flight
and how it could help in man-controlled flights. We have come a far way ahead
since then, modern airplanes and combat fighter jets rule the skies now but we
are still a long stride away from reaching perfection. Birds have been
surviving since long before man-made flights came up, they are the perfect
example of the magnificent engineering skills of nature. Every now and then we
make improvements and these improvements are also owed to the birds. This topic
will cover the aerodynamic force and sound reduction in flights and the
idea/motivation is taken from the best predators of night i.e owl.

Owls are known for their perfect night vision and silent
flights. Since they hunt at night they need to be silent so as to not scare the
prey, hence they developed the best silent flights and the aerodynamics so that
they could move efficiently and silently towards their prey. They have unique
wing morphologies, characterized by leading-edge serrations, velvet-like surfaces
and trailing edge fringes. The researchers have carried out various experiments
in the low-speed wind tunnel so as to see the characteristics of the owl wings.
This research could help us build more efficient and less noise producing
flights. The leading-edge serrations could lead to a better aero-acoustic
control in rotar designs for aircrafts and wind turbines. The research has
shown that the leading-edge serrations can passively control the laminar-turbulent
transition over the upper wing surface, i.e. the suction surface at the angle
ranging between 0 to 20 degrees and hence help in better aerodynamics and noise

The above image shows the result of the leading-edge serrations
experiment performed in a low-velocity wind tunnel.  Contours of
time-averaged velocities normalized by uniform incoming velocity Urefaround
a clean leading-edge wing model (left: (A), (C) and (E)), and a serrated
leading-edge wing model (right: (B), (D) and (F)) at AoAs of 5° (A) and (B),
10° (C) and (D), and 15° (E) and (F), respectively. (Courtesy

The right wing of a female Ural owl (Strix uralensis). The arm and
hand wings are highlighted by cyan and orange dashed lines, respectively. (B)
The comb-like serrated leading-edge at the vane of the outermost remex. (C) Owl
single feather (top)-inspired wing models with serrated (middle) and clean
(bottom) leading-edges. (D) Close-up view of the leading-edge serrations of the
wing models. (Courtesy:


The above images show the
experiment and its result and hence it can be concluded that leading-edge serrated
wing model can passively control the laminar-turbulent transition to suppress
the high-frequency eddies, and hence leads to better aerodynamics and sound
suppression in flights. The serration is able to provide a tradeoff between
sound suppression and force production.

This course has helped me
understand the importance of nature as an extreme problem solver. We have all
the clues and ideas around us and this course and given us the knowledge and
tools to use these clues and ideas of nature to solve modern day problems. Learning
something different from the regular curriculum is always welcome and hence it
has been a good learning experience.