#443: Combmould

Left to their own devices, bees will form a hive with a nest chamber made of wax (wasps do a similar thing but their papery edifice is less useful…)

Today’s invention is to encourage a colony of bees to form a nest inside a former for some stress-bearing engineering component (eg an aerospace engine mounting).

Andrei_Ghergar_honeycomb1103.jpg

The hexagonal, 3-D matrix which the bees will naturally build would, if made of eg aluminium, be phenomenally strong and lightweight.

Now, we use the ancient process of lost wax in which a thermosetting material coats the hexagonal mesh and forms a matrix from which the wax will escape when the whole thing is heated. This leaves behind a 3-D, complex mould into which some exotic molten alloy can be poured to create the desired components.

This represents a natural augmentation to finite element stress analysis in design.

Comments are closed