Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature

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Seemingly universal geometric forms unite the flow systems of engineering and nature. In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan considers the design and optimization of engineered systems and discovers a relationship to the generation of geometric form in natural systems. The idea that shape and structure spring from the struggle for better performance in both engineering and nature is the basis of the new constructal theory: the objective and constraints principle in engineering is the same mechanism underlying the geometry in natural flow systems. From heat exchangers to river channels, Bejan draws many parallels between the engineered and natural worlds. Numerous illustrations, examples, and homework problems make this an ideal text for engineering design courses. Its provocative ideas will also appeal to a broad range of readers in engineering, natural sciences, economics, and business.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] unique, path-breaking and thought-provoking book of wide readership..." International Journal of Applied Thermodynamics

"Shape and Structure makes for a very interesting reading for anyone with a minimum background in mathematics and physics. The books is well written in a lucid, enthusiastic style and meticulously copy edited and typeset by Cambridge. It contains plenty of illustrations including 15 color plates, all instructive as well as beautiful." Applied Mechanics Reviews

"...unusual and fascinating...Anyone concerned with optimization, including students taking a course on the subject, will derive inspiration and insight from this book, and anyone with an interest in engineering and nature will get a great deal of pleasure from it." Peter Bradshaw, Stanford University, AIAA Journal

"This fascinating book is recommended as a text or reference for innovative, advanced design courses in all branches of modern egineering, including biomedical, transportation, and environmental engineering, architecture and spatail economics. Further, I strongly recommend it as a must read to all engineers who are experimenting with origainal, radically different concepts and ideas and who are poised to make a lasting impact on society." Engineering Dimensions July- Aug 2001

"This book provides some intriguing insights into the workings of both the natural world and that of engineering design....extremely well written, and the discussion is supported by clear graphical illustrations and some delightful photographs....excellent book." Chemical Engineering Progress

"this delightful read conducts the reader through the marvelous world of optimal system...this is an outstanding book, highly recommended not only for physicists and engineers, but also for life scientist, physicians, architects, economists and in general, for any person interested in how natural and man-made systems are composed and perform the way they do. Reading the book is a joyful experience that further stimulates the reader's mind and contributes to the creative observation of our natural and ingenuous world." Pergamon

"...this is a useful book for a general course on efficiency in design, both on the undergraduate and graduate level." - Helmut Kirchner, Pageoph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521790499
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2000
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Symbols
1 Natural Form, Questioning, and Theory 1
1.1 The Great Puzzle: From What Principle can Geometric Form be Deduced? 1
1.2 The Hardest Questions 4
1.3 The Objective and Constraints Principle 6
2 Mechanical Structure 14
2.1 Cantilever Beam: Objective and Constraints 14
2.2 External Shape 16
2.3 Internal Structure 18
2.4 Shape and Structure, Together 20
2.5 Column in End Compression 22
2.6 The Concept of "Better" 24
3 Thermal Structure 29
3.1 Cooling Electronics: Objective and Constraints 29
3.2 Volume Cooled by Natural Convection 29
3.3 Volume Cooled by Forced Convection 35
3.4 The Method of Intersecting the Asymptotes 40
3.5 The Balance between Stream-Travel Time and Diffusion Time 41
3.6 Optimal Longitudinal Flow Pulsations 42
3.7 From Constructal Principle to Internal Structure 44
3.8 Cracks in Shrinking Solids 45
4 Heat Trees 52
4.1 The Volume-to-Point Flow Problem 52
4.2 Elemental Volume 53
4.3 First Construct and Growth 56
4.4 Second and Higher-Order Constructs 58
4.5 Constructal Law 60
4.6 Tapered Channels and Optimal Angles 62
4.7 Three-Dimensional Heat Trees 65
4.8 Time-Dependent Discharge from a Volume to One Point 67
4.9 Constructal Design: Increasing Complexity in a Volume of Fixed Size 69
4.10 Design with Unrestricted Elemental Features 74
4.11 Constructal Heat Trees Are Robust 77
5 Fluid Trees 82
5.1 Bathing a Volume: Objective and Constraints 82
5.2 Elemental Volume 84
5.3 First and Higher-Order Constructs 88
5.4 Channels with Hagen-Poiseuille Flow 91
5.5 Optimization of Void-Space Distribution 92
5.6 Constructal Design: Increasing Complexity in a Volume of Fixed Size 94
5.7 Three-Dimensional Fluid Trees 99
5.8 Scaling Laws of Living Trees 108
6 Ducts and Rivers 117
6.1 Geometric Puzzles 117
6.2 Optimal River Channel Cross Sections 122
6.3 Optimal Duct Cross Sections 127
6.4 Deterministic River Drainage Basins 128
6.5 River Basins with Randomly Distributed Resistance to Erosion 137
6.6 River Basins with Optimized External Shape 137
6.7 Constructal Fluid Trees are Robust 142
6.8 Rivers of People 144
7 Turbulent Structure 149
7.1 Two Flow Regimes: High Resistance and Low Resistance, Intertwined 149
7.2 Why Do Icebergs and Logs Drift Sideways? 150
7.3 The First and Smallest Eddy 151
7.4 The Stepwise Growth of Mixing Regions 157
7.5 The Onset of Rolls in Fluid Layers Heated from Below 158
7.6 Partitioned Fluid Layer Heated from the Side 161
7.7 Optimization of Flow Geometry in Layers Heated from Below 163
7.8 Porous Layer Saturated with Fluid and Heated from Below 169
7.9 Natural Structure in Multiphase Flow Systems 174
7.10 Dendritic Crystals 175
8 Convective Trees 181
8.1 Convection in the Interstices versus Convection in the Tree Branches 181
8.2 Two-Dimensional T-Shaped Plate Fins 182
8.3 Umbrellas of Cylindrical Fins 187
8.4 Fin Trees with Optimal Plate-to-Plate Spacings 189
8.5 Trees of Circular Fins 198
8.6 Conduction in Interstitial Spaces and Convection in Channels 202
8.7 Parallel-Plate Channels 203
8.8 Optimally Tapered Parallel-Plate Channels 208
8.9 Round Tubes 212
8.10 Two Fluid Trees in Counterflow are One Tree for Convection 215
9 Structure in Power Systems 219
9.1 Allocation of Heat Exchange Inventory 220
9.2 Distribution of Insulation 223
9.3 Structure in Low-Temperature Machines 226
9.4 Streams in Counterflow 230
9.5 Flying Machines and Animals 234
9.6 Flying Carpets and Processions 240
10 Structure in Time: Rhythm 246
10.1 Intermittent Heat Transfer 247
10.2 Defrosting Refrigerators 249
10.3 Cleaning Power Plants 252
10.4 Breathing 254
10.5 Heart Beating 257
10.6 The Effect of Animal Body Size 260
11 Transportation and Economics Structure 270
11.1 Minimum Travel Time 271
11.2 Minimum Cost 278
11.3 Maximum Revenue 283
11.4 Development of Economics Structure in Time 287
11.5 Optimally Shaped Triangular Areas 288
11.6 Older Methods in Spatial Economics 293
11.7 The Law of Refraction 295
11.8 The Law of Parsimony 296
12 Shapes with Constant Resistance 300
12.1 How, Not What 300
12.2 More Degrees of Freedom 301
12.3 More Efficient Structures Look More "Natural" 308
12.4 More Material Where the Need is Greater 311
12.5 An Old and Prevalent Natural Phenomenon 312
About the Author 315
Author Index 317
Subject Index 320
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