The effect of serration angle on spine puncture mechanics
Spines, defined as rigid biological structures that come to a point, are physical features found across a wide range of organisms; however general relationships between spine structure and function remain unclear. This study explores a specific aspect of the form-function relationship of spines, by investigating the influence of serration angle on spine puncture mechanics. Autodesk Fusion 360 was used to 3D-model spines with differing serration angles, which were then printed out with hard resin. The models will undergo materials testing as they are punctured into and retracted from ballistics gel. The maximum force needed for both puncture and retraction will be recorded and analyzed to see whether a change in serration angle leads to a change in puncture mechanics. Maximum puncture force is expected to increase with serration angle, as serrations angled more towards the front of the spine will increase the surface area on which the ballistics gel can resist the spine’s entry. An inverse trend with maximum retraction force is also expected, as similar gel-spine interactions will occur but in the reverse direction.