Natural Honeybees Lab Report

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1.0 Introduction 1.1 Natural honeycombs- formation and features Natural honeycomb is constructed by the honeybees. It has a hexagonal geometry. Each cell is a perfect hexagon which imparts various properties to the honeycomb1. Karihaloo and co-workers studied the formation of hexagonal cells of these honeycombs. They observed that initially the cells were circular in shape (Fig. 1.1a) and transformed into hexagons with rounded corners later (Fig. 1.1b). The worker bees provide the heat required to melt wax into a viscous mass. The circular cells gradually fuse with neighbouring circular cells. This happens due to the flow of the visco-elastic molten wax near the triple junction (Fig. 1.2). Therefore, a semi-solid concave meniscus is formed at the triple junction. As a result, surface tension is created which provides stress to the cell walls, leading to their stretching. Thus the neighbouring walls gradually begin to…show more content…
This layer is formed of discrete water droplets that appear white due to scattering of light. Similarly, if a cold surface is kept in a humid environment, water vapour from the atmosphere condenses on that surface and forms minute droplets10. The cold surface can be either solid or liquid11. These droplets align in an orderly pattern and this arrangement is termed as “breath figure”, a term coined by T.J. Baker12. 1.4 Breath figure method Breath figure method consists of the following steps: a) A polymer solution is made using a volatile solvent in which the polymer easily dissolves. b) This is immediately cast onto a casting surface in a sufficiently humid environment. The technique used is the drop-casting method6. c) The solvent is allowed to evaporate till the polymer is left behind as a solid film. d) The film is then characterized to note the kind of pores formed. The breath figure method has developed with several variations in the technique used. These

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