Minimum mass vascular networks in multifunctional materials

HR Williams, RS Trask, PM Weaver, IP Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


A biomimetic analysis is presented in which an expression for the optimum vessel diameter for the design of minimum mass branching or vascular networks in engineering applications is derived. Agreement with constructal theory is shown. A simple design case is illustrated and application to more complex cases with branching networks of several generations discussed. The analysis is also extended into the turbulent flow regime, giving an optimization tool with considerable utility in the design of fluid distribution systems. The distribution of vessel lengths in different generations was also found to be a useful design variable. Integrating a network into a structure is also discussed. Where it is necessary to adopt a non-optimum vessel diameter for structural integration, it has been shown that small deviations from the minimum mass optimum can be tolerated, but large variations could be expected to produce a punitive and rapidly increasing mass penalty.
Translated title of the contributionMinimum mass vascular networks in multifunctional materials
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55 - 65
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume5, (18)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher: The Royal Society


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