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4 Feb 15: Applications in Use 8: Learn from the Animals

If animals were built like we build paper machines and other parts of the processing facility, such as pulp mills, they would be too heavy to stand.


The skeletons of animals are actually beautiful, efficient examples of engineering.  They are light weight and hollow, allowing for other processes in their interior.  For example, an international team of paleontologists working in China has discovered the fossilized bones of a dinosaur that was half body and half neck. Why such a long neck? It was a great aid in feeding on plant matter. How did it balance such an impossibly long neck with the rest of its body? The scientists found that inside the fossilized neck bones were air-filled spaces that kept the neck bones from being too dense and heavy.


We are not here for a religion vs. evolutionary argument, but whomever or whatever designed these creatures did so with functionality and utility in mind.


Consider steel pipe. It is has structural properties.  So does square tubing.  Both of these materials can also carry process fluids, much like bones can do.  Yet, do we use them for structural purposes? No! We add other structural items such as wide flange beams, rebar in concrete and so forth.


We have many opportunities to change our structures to dual purposes.  Rebar can be replaced with pipe which can serve dual purposes.  Structural framework can be made of closed tubing shapes in order to serve as conduits for fluids or even as compressed air receivers.


Will this be more expensive on the first few projects?  Perhaps. But in the long run, standards can be developed that make these dual function systems less costly than what we are doing now.


What is done now, with rebar and pipe, is redundant and heavy, heavy all the way to the bottom of the piles.


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with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line.   


LGMI Design Practices
As always, your comments will be appreciated.
Think light!


Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director




Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!




LGMI Weekly Ideas are presented for your consideration and inspiration only.  It is solely your responsibility to check for engineering correctness, applicability, standards, insurance policy and local, national or any other legal compliance required before implementing.  Neither The Light Green Machine (TM) Institute, Paperitalo Publications, Talo Analytic International, Inc., nor any individual associated with these entities accepts any responsibility for your application or compliance issues.


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