Anisotropy and non-homogeneity of an Allomyrina Dichotoma beetle hind wing membrane Academic Article uri icon


  • Biomimetics is one of the most important paradigms as researchers seek to invent better engineering designs over human history. However, the observation of insect flight is a relatively recent work. Several researchers have tried to address the aerodynamic performance of flapping creatures and other natural properties of insects, although there are still many unsolved questions. In this study, we try to answer the questions related to the mechanical properties of a beetle's hind wing, which consists of a stiff vein structure and a flexible membrane. The membrane of a beetle's hind wing is small and flexible to the point that conventional methods cannot adequately quantify the material properties. The digital image correlation method, a non-contact displacement measurement method, is used along with a specially designed mini-tensile testing system. To reduce the end effects, we developed an experimental method that can deal with specimens with as high an aspect ratio as possible. Young's modulus varies over the area in the wing and ranges from 2.97 to 4.5 GPa in the chordwise direction and from 1.63 to 2.24 GPa in the spanwise direction. Furthermore, Poisson's ratio in the chordwise direction is 0.63-0.73 and approximately twice as large as that in the spanwise direction (0.33-0.39). From these results, we can conclude that the membrane of a beetle's hind wing is an anisotropic and non-homogeneous material. Our results will provide a better understanding of the flapping mechanism through the formulation of a fluid-structure interaction analysis or aero-elasticity analysis and meritorious data for biomaterial properties database as well as a creative design concept for a micro aerial flapper that mimics an insect.


publication date

  • December 1, 2011