An insect-inspired asymmetric hinge in a double-layer membrane

Journal article


Rajabi, H., Eraghi, S.H., Khaheshi, A., Toofani, A., Hunt, C. and Wootton, R.J. (2022). An insect-inspired asymmetric hinge in a double-layer membrane. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (45), p. e2211861119. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2211861119
AuthorsRajabi, H., Eraghi, S.H., Khaheshi, A., Toofani, A., Hunt, C. and Wootton, R.J.
Abstract

Insect wings are deformable aerofoils, in which deformations are mostly achieved by complicated interactions between their structural components. Due to the complexity of the wing design and technical challenges associated with testing the delicate wings, we know little about the properties of their components and how they determine wing response to flight forces. Here we report a novel, previously undescribed structure from the hind wing membrane of the beetle Pachnoda marginata. The structure, a transverse section of the claval flexion line, consists of two distinguishable layers: a bell-shaped upper layer and a straight lower layer. Our computational simulations showed that this is an effective one-way hinge, which is stiff in tension and upward bending but flexible in compression and downward bending. By systematically varying its design parameters in a computational model, we showed that the properties of the double-layer membrane hinge can be tuned over a wide range. This enabled us to develop a broad design space, which we later used for model selection. We used selected models in three distinct applications, which proved that the double-layer hinge represents a simple, yet effective design strategy for controlling the mechanical response of structures using a single material and with no extra mass. The insect-inspired one-way hinge is particularly useful for developing structures with asymmetric behaviour, exhibiting different responses to the same load in two opposite directions. This multidisciplinary study not only advances our understanding of the biomechanics of complicated insect wings, but also informs the design of easily tuneable engineering hinges.

Keywordswing; flight; flexion line; compliant joint; shape morphing; adaptive system; mechanical intelligence
Year2022
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Journal citation119 (45), p. e2211861119
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
ISSN1091-6490
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2211861119
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2211861119
Publication dates
Online08 Nov 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Sep 2022
Deposited09 Nov 2022
Accepted author manuscript
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