Nanomechanical properties of wing membrane layers in the house cricket (Acheta domesticus Linnaeus)
Author(s)Sample, Caitlin S.; Xu, Alan K.; Swartz, Sharon M.; Gibson, Lorna
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Many insect wings change shape dynamically during the wingbeat cycle, and these deformations have the potential to confer energetic and aerodynamic benefits during flight. Due to the lack of musculature within the wing itself, the changing form of the wing is determined primarily by its passive response to inertial and aerodynamic forces. This response is in part controlled by the wing’s mechanical properties, which vary across the membrane to produce regions of differing stiffness. Previous studies of wing mechanical properties have largely focused on surface or bulk measurements, but this ignores the layered nature of the wing. In our work, we investigated the mechanical properties of the wings of the house cricket (Acheta domesticus) with the aim of determining differences between layers within the wing. Nanoindentation was performed on both the surface and the interior layers of cross-sectioned samples of the wing to measure the Young’s modulus and hardness of the outer- and innermost layers. The results demonstrate that the interior of the wing is stiffer than the surface, and both properties vary across the wing.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Journal of Insect Physiology
Sample, Caitlin S., Alan K. Xu, Sharon M. Swartz, and Lorna J. Gibson. “Nanomechanical Properties of Wing Membrane Layers in the House Cricket (Acheta Domesticus Linnaeus).” Journal of Insect Physiology 74 (March 2015): 10–15.
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