Biomechanics

Testing flexion in situ

By Steven Vogel, Duke University


Type of Resource How to build devices or tools 
Topic Structures 
Taxa Plant 
Organizational Level Organismal 
Estimated time to do activity 1 to 3 hours 
Background required/level none 
Role of activity in your course (No course at present)  
Special tools, equipment or software needed A simple wood shop should have the tools to build the testers (a drill press is convenient); material can be obtained for about ten dollars at a general building supply store such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Weights can be improvised.  
Safety precautions, possible permissions necessary None  
Miscellaneous advice - pitfalls to avoid None 
Description Two devices for measuring flexural stiffness of horizontal branches and vertical saplings. These are simple and inexpensive; they can be used without removing material from the parent organism or otherwise causing injury to the material. Thus they're suitable for use on ornamental plants on campuses.  
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