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Research Papers: Empirical Studies

A Method of Finding Biologically Inspired Guidelines for Environmentally Benign Design and Manufacturing

[+] Author and Article Information
John Reap

Mechanical Engineering,
Quinnipiac University,
Hamden, CT 06518
e-mail: John.Reap@quinnipiac.edu

Bert Bras

G.W. Woodruff School of
Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0405
e-mail: bert.bras@me.gatech.edu

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received January 14, 2014; final manuscript received August 8, 2014; published online October 8, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Daniel A. McAdams.

J. Mech. Des 136(11), 111110 (Oct 08, 2014) (11 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1031; doi: 10.1115/1.4028303 History: Received January 14, 2014; Revised August 08, 2014

Fundamental characteristics identified via observation of the inherently sustainable biosphere can inform and guide environmentally benign design and manufacturing (EBDM). In support of this premise, this paper identifies characteristics, extracts biological principles, translates them into guidelines for EBDM, and briefly reports on their application in situations of engineering interest. It outlines and illustrates the use of constant comparative method (CCM) to identify and extract fundamental biosphere characteristics from biology and ecology literature. Then, it translates these biological principles into general guidelines with associated metrics. To illustrate the efficacy of this approach, bio-inspired metrics are used for the purposes of assessing micro/nanoscale self-cleaning surfaces and designing a carpet tile recycling network. These efforts suggest that learning the phenomena responsible for the biosphere's inherent sustainability can yield insight into EBDM.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Modified form of CCM used in this work

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Fig. 2

Drop with a phobic contact angle

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Fig. 3

Diagram of cleaning apparatus

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Fig. 4

Model of existing and potential carpet tile and carpet tile material flows in metro-Atlanta region

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Fig. 5

Traditional versus bio-inspired objective function values for 100,000 random network designs (R2 = 0.96)

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