What Does Biomimicry Mean in Simple Terms?

Biomimicry is a field of science that seeks to understand how organisms in nature solve problems and then apply that knowledge to create solutions for human problems. In simple terms, biomimicry is learning from and then mimicking the strategies used by nature to solve problems.

At Finsulate®, we use biomimicry to understand how nature's strategies can be applied to develop antifouling efficiency, preventing the hull growth of barnacles, plume worms, or other marine organisms on boats and other vessels. Let’s further explore this concept:

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Biomimicry: A Model

Biomimicry is a method of innovation that uses nature as a model to develop sustainable solutions to problems. It is based on the idea that nature, with its billions of years of evolution, has already found the best solutions to many of the problems we face today. According to Janine Benyus, biomimicry sees nature as a model. It studies nature's models and imitates them or uses them as inspiration for designs or processes to solve human problems.

Image of a sea urchin

Inspiration for Finsulate®

At Finsulate®, we use biomimicry to understand how nature's strategies can be applied to develop antifouling efficiency, preventing the hull growth of barnacles, plume worms, or other marine organisms on boats and other vessels. We look to creatures such as the sea urchin and its spines to understand how they protect themselves from fouling. By studying these creatures, we can then adapt their strategies to create an innovative solution that provides antifouling protection. We use the same principles that the sea urchin uses to protect itself from barnacles, plume worms, and other fouling organisms, to create a coating that protects boats and other vessels from the same.

Image of Finsulate® being applied to the bottom of a boat

The Finsulate® Concept

The challenge of fouling - the build-up of algae, mussels, and barnacles on surfaces in water - has long posed a problem. Without anti-fouling, any surface in water, such as ship hulls and offshore constructions, will become increasingly affected. Unfortunately, traditional anti-fouling paints are highly toxic and thus, very harmful to the environment. Thankfully, Finsulate® provides a much more eco-friendly solution to this issue, allowing people to protect their surfaces without the risk of further damaging the environment.

Image of a dragon fly

Three Types of Biomimicry

There are three main types of biomimicry – form and shape, process, and ecosystem.

The first type of biomimicry is form and shape. This type of biomimicry utilizes the shapes of plants and animals in the development of products. For example, the wings of a dragonfly inspired the design of the wings of the Boeing 777X airplane. The dragonfly’s wings are lightweight and flexible, which makes them ideal for flight. By mimicking the shape and structure of the dragonfly’s wings, Boeing was able to create an airplane with improved flight performance.

The second type of biomimicry is a process. This type of biomimicry mimics the processes of living organisms. For example, photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. Scientists have looked to this process for inspiration in the development of solar energy technology.

The third type of biomimicry is an ecosystem. This type of biomimicry takes inspiration from the interactions and relationships that exist between living organisms in nature. For example, cities that are designed with nature in mind have been built in many places around the world. These cities mimic the way that nature works – they are designed to be sustainable and resilient, while also providing habitat for wildlife.

Biomimicry: Examples of Nature-Inspired Innovation

Biomimicry has become increasingly popular in the fields of engineering and design, as nature has already solved many of the issues we are now attempting to address. Here are some examples of biomimicry in action:

Down Feather Insulation:

Heavy winter coats are stuffed with down or other feathers so that we can stay warm without flying south for the winter.

Termite Mound Cooling:

African termites have evolved an ingenious way to keep their mounds cool in the hot African sun. The mounds are built in such a way that air is forced through the mound and is cooled by the surrounding soil. This same method is now being used to cool buildings in hot areas, such as Florida and the Middle East.

Humpback Whale Wind Turbines:

Humpback whales create their wind by raising and lowering their fins as they swim. This concept has been adapted to create wind turbines, which are much more efficient and generate more power than traditional wind turbines.

Beetle Water Collection:

Beetles have evolved a unique way of collecting water from the environment. When it rains, the beetles collect droplets of water on their hard shells and store them in special grooves. This same technique has been adapted to create water collection systems that can be used in areas with limited access to clean water.

Spider Web Glass:

Spiders have evolved an incredibly strong web that can be used to catch prey. This same material has been adapted to create a type of glass that is stronger, lighter, and more durable than traditional glass. This type of glass is now being used to create windows, skylights, and even bulletproof glass.

Why Choose Finsulate®?

Finsulate® is a great example of how biomimicry can be used to create an innovative solution to the problem of fouling on vessels. Our antifouling coating is designed to provide a barrier between the vessel and the fouling organisms, making it difficult for them to attach to the hull and form a fouling layer. This helps to reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be done on the vessel and helps to reduce the environmental impact of fouling. Take action today!

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