#1200: StrutSplint

Struts are often used in engineering systems, usually mutually cross-braced. Today’s invention attempts to provide these members with a form of adaptive internal strengthening.

Each strut (not necessarily of circular cross-section) has within it a conduit. This contains a strong, light metal rod. The rod can be moved along the conduit by a pneumatic pressure difference created by a pump fitted to one end.

When a strut is stressed, and begins to bend to a specific extent, the periodic passage of its rod may be locally slowed (which can be detected as resistance to the drive pressure, which is then removed in response).

This allows a rod to be automatically positioned at the point of maximal bending -reinforcing it before damage occurs.

When the stress is removed, rods can continue to patrol. A more advanced version of this idea involves the use of multiple reinforcement rods at different locations within each strut.

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