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Old 08-14-2011, 07:10 AM
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Default carbon-fibre bones and med-technology

Couple of questions that I was interested in hearing you guys' thoughts on (both came up during research for a fic).

How would Na'vi bones act under physical stress?

Or rather, how would their carbon-fibre reinforced bones break or fracture? I read somewhere that they might splinter more then break, but carbon itself (so my research has lead me to believe) does break when under a sharp enough shock (like, say, a hammer). And also, carbon doesn't bend under pressure, it just snaps, so it seems to lose flexibility with the strength....but then again, we're taking about a composite of bone with carbon, so....Yeah. I'm not sure how Na'vi bones would actually react under physical stress, or what would cause them to break. (For fic, I need to break something to cause a character to have a limp, just not sure on the details yet).

What level of medicine-technology do you think the Na'vi have?

I'm assuming that as far as helpful herbs and drugs are concerned, the Na'vi are set, but I'm not sure on their level of tech as far as surgery/setting bones/physical therapy/etc would be. Any theories?
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashen Key View Post
Couple of questions that I was interested in hearing you guys' thoughts on (both came up during research for a fic).

How would Na'vi bones act under physical stress?

Or rather, how would their carbon-fibre reinforced bones break or fracture? I read somewhere that they might splinter more then break, but carbon itself (so my research has lead me to believe) does break when under a sharp enough shock (like, say, a hammer). And also, carbon doesn't bend under pressure, it just snaps, so it seems to lose flexibility with the strength....but then again, we're taking about a composite of bone with carbon, so....Yeah. I'm not sure how Na'vi bones would actually react under physical stress, or what would cause them to break. (For fic, I need to break something to cause a character to have a limp, just not sure on the details yet).
Make it up. What CF does under stress depends pretty much entirely on the construction of the fibre itself. If it that's what it needs to do, it can bend and not snap under pressure, but that's probably not helpful in the case of CF-laced bone. The CF used in Formula 1 cars will actually powder under impact, since this absorbs the maximum amount of kinetic energy for least amount of debris. Basically, make it do what you want, but splintering would probably be closest to "realistic."

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What level of medicine-technology do you think the Na'vi have?

I'm assuming that as far as helpful herbs and drugs are concerned, the Na'vi are set, but I'm not sure on their level of tech as far as surgery/setting bones/physical therapy/etc would be. Any theories?
Zilch? I'd expect they have pseudoscientific herbs, and always-fatal Caesarian, (if they even do Caesarians ) but they don't appear to have any scientific method at all.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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(For fic, I need to break something to cause a character to have a limp, just not sure on the details yet).
I'm sure you can just use your imagination for that.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashen Key View Post
Couple of questions that I was interested in hearing you guys' thoughts on (both came up during research for a fic).

How would Na'vi bones act under physical stress?

Or rather, how would their carbon-fibre reinforced bones break or fracture? I read somewhere that they might splinter more then break, but carbon itself (so my research has lead me to believe) does break when under a sharp enough shock (like, say, a hammer). And also, carbon doesn't bend under pressure, it just snaps, so it seems to lose flexibility with the strength....but then again, we're taking about a composite of bone with carbon, so....Yeah. I'm not sure how Na'vi bones would actually react under physical stress, or what would cause them to break. (For fic, I need to break something to cause a character to have a limp, just not sure on the details yet).
According to Pandorapedia, the way that the carbon fiber is layered and woven in their bones means that they will first splay like bamboo when under extreme stress. This would allow the bone to still support certain amount of load, although it would be very painful. After splaying, increasing the load more and more will eventually break the bone. You can check the website for details, in case I get something wrong.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:28 AM
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Make it up. What CF does under stress depends pretty much entirely on the construction of the fibre itself. If it that's what it needs to do, it can bend and not snap under pressure, but that's probably not helpful in the case of CF-laced bone. The CF used in Formula 1 cars will actually powder under impact, since this absorbs the maximum amount of kinetic energy for least amount of debris. Basically, make it do what you want, but splintering would probably be closest to "realistic."
I'm aiming for as realistic as I can, yes. It's a failing of mine *g* But, I adore research, and I find grounding things in realism make them more interesting and raise plot-points of their own. And in this case, working out roughly what would happen to CF-laced bones means I know roughly if I should break Ninat's kneecap, or break something else (my take on Ninat is that she has a limp, writing backstory of her)

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Zilch? I'd expect they have pseudoscientific herbs, and always-fatal Caesarian, (if they even do Caesarians ) but they don't appear to have any scientific method at all.
Heh. Yeah, I can't see them doing Caesarians that much, although they might! Depends on how far their 'keeping the balance' ethos goes.

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I'm sure you can just use your imagination for that.
Yes, I could make it up entirely out of the cloth...and then worry that I'll be getting things wrong. I'm a researcher, I like things being realistic. If I want a character with a limp, I'm going to research various ways to get her that way. Besides, depending on the method, that changes exactly what happens.

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Originally Posted by AC130StandingBy View Post
According to Pandorapedia, the way that the carbon fiber is layered and woven in their bones means that they will first splay like bamboo when under extreme stress. This would allow the bone to still support certain amount of load, although it would be very painful. After splaying, increasing the load more and more will eventually break the bone. You can check the website for details, in case I get something wrong.
Ah-hah, thank you! I actually entirely forget to check there *facepalms*
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:08 PM
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Basic surgery seems extremely likely, as does setting of bones and disinfecting of wounds (remember the leaf over the cut on Jake's arm), as well as sue of various plants.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:33 PM
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I imagined the carbon fiber as sort of like the steel reinforcing rods in concrete...
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:22 AM
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I imagined the carbon fiber as sort of like the steel reinforcing rods in concrete...
In what sense, Scott? Because in the general 'making stronger' sense, yes, but that doesn't say anything about how the bones would react to physical stress, as neither carbon fibre nor bone are remotely like steel rods or concrete. Particularly as carbon fibre is actually quite brittle...
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:15 AM
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They would reinforce the bone in the opposite direction, a bit like glass reinforced plastic (fibreglass) - two materials with different strength profiles, which reinforce each other in their own optimal application. Not all carbon fibre is particularly brittle either, they just have a failure mode which makes them appear so, but only under a large amount of stress (look at the amount of energy in an F1 car crash for the carbon fibre to break up like that)
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