Jon Excell’s article on flying in an aircraft that is full of holes (Technology News, 9 June) was an interesting one.
Horses hoofs are based on a similar principle. A horse stands suspended on a structure consisting of a solid layer of bone, above which is a network of hollow tubes which provide suitable structural strength to the hoof.
Some universities (such as de Montford in Leicester) are researching biomimetics – the creation of artificial structures which mimic nature and create suitable strength using hollow structures.
Interestingly, the structure of anodised coatings on aluminium have a similar structure.
J R House, SEC