Supercoiling is understood as a branch of Topology, as
part of Knot Theory and its subfield of Ribbon Theory (All rich tradition,
including the famous Mock Turtle.). Supercoiling is a biomimetic solution
to storing long strings in a small volume, and a classic method for
storing elastic energy. DNA supercoils compactly thousands of times
smaller than its length, as just one bio-supercoiling example. The child's
rubber-band motor airplane uses supercoiled rubber to store and release
elastic energy for flight.
Supercoiling is a simple basis for flexible AWE transmissions. An
elastomer line stretched across two points can accept chaotic rotating
input on one side and output smooth shaft power, doing the job of a
massive flywheel. As noted in recent posts, a airborne supercoiling
elastomer in rubber-band-motor mode can be driven by multirotors as a
AWECS, without massive driveshafts. Note the historic power of twisted
rope in siege catapults and in the "Spanish Windlass". Supercoiling
extends the operational range of twisted rope devices. Elastomer ropes in
the form of modern bungees offer a high supercoiling-under-load cycle
life, whereas ordinary rope is damaged by a single hockle. One can
supercoil line without damage by staying below strain and abrasion limits.
Thus we have two great supercoiling concepts to play with; compact line
storage or slack prevention to obviate reels, and twisted elastomers for
buffered power transmission.
~Dave Santos 9Nov2011
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