Abstract

Natural structures have been analyzed and investigated over many years for impulses and benefits that could possibly be applied to man-made technical structures. With today’s possibilities of computer-aided calculations, methods have been developed to improve the primitive research into nature by providing scientists with the tool of simulation for much preciser statements about the phenomena observed in the open.

K. Metzger, a German forester and author, reported on the existence of an even stress distribution in biological structures as early as 1893 (Metzger, 1893). For stems of spruce he observed that there is a definite relationship between the growth of stems and the mechanical loads which act on them. Metzger’s experience was adopted by a team of scientists at Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH. His observations have been providing the basis of extensive computerized simulations assisted by the finite-element method (FEM). Some of these calculations are discussed in this paper to prove and corroborate the theses given below.

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