Fluid analysis of vein of beetle hindwing during unfolding action

Jiyu Sun, Wei Wu, Mingze Ling, Jin Tong, Lei Ren

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Beetles demonstrate excellent flight performance, and their various flight skills predominantly depend on the ingenious structure of the wing membrane. The wings of insects have been optimized in structure, function and material through millions of years of evolution. The hindwings of most beetles are thin and fragile; when at rest, they are held over the back of the beetle. From drawings, it is clear that the biological wing structure of beetles could be exploited for the efficient flight of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). This paper strives to reveal the hydraulic mechanism at work during the hindwing unfolding process through the use of the finite element method in FLUENT. The inlet pressure was set to be similar to the folded point pressure, and the flow pattern was treated as similar to a one-way flow. We anticipate that our work will serve as the basis of further sophisticated research on the folding/unfolding mechanisms of beetle hindwings, which may provide design insights for portable MAVs with morphing wings and guide the development of bioinspired deployable systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-386
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
    Early online date2 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


    • Beetle hind-wing
    • FLUENT
    • MAVs
    • Unfolding wing


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