Scaling in Tensile "Skeletons": Structures with Scale-Independent Length Dimensions

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Science  24 Sep 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4566, pp. 1267-1270
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4566.1267


Skeletal structures that resist only tensile forces can scale differently than compression resisting structures that fail in bending or buckling. The tensile structures examined scalelike simple ropes: length and diameter of the structure are not correlated, and in three of four cases, length is independent of scale or load, but diameter is dependent on scale. These relations suggest that similarity in stress rather than strain, or deformational behavior, is the basis for mechanical adaptation in the gross dimensions of these tensile structures.

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