New technique predicts fractures in bones, buildings

March 19th, 2008 - 12:48 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 19 (IANS) Researchers have developed a simpler, faster and more dependable technique of predicting fractures, both in the living and the non-living. Called ‘Scan and Solve’, the technique, developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will provide a new perspective on how bones are likely to fail.

It also works well on inanimate objects. For instance, applied to Michelangelo’s “David”, Scan and Solve outlined all the stresses and strains the sculpture has experienced since it was carved out centuries ago. The analysis matched well with the statue’s known crack damages.

The method could also help archivists by alerting them to ancient artefacts that require immediate bolstering to prevent damage, even if no outward sign of fatigue is visible.

The approach could work for a car part or any other heavily used component as well, potentially aiding engineers as they develop protections for those objects.

Researchers visualise Scan and Solve having widespread applicability in art, architecture, medicine and other systems that have not benefited from engineering analysis in the past.

The researchers, led by Vadim Shapiro, presented their findings Tuesday at the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences in Honolulu.

Scan and Solve takes 3-D samples or scanned data of an object and calculates where points of weakness occur and how those points will be affected by forces acting on them, such as gravity in the case of a statue or activity in the case of a human bone.

“Unlike existing analysis techniques that can be error prone and require models that take far longer to create, Scan and Solve compresses the entire analysis into a series of automated, efficient steps,” the researchers said.

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