This super-beetle can survive being run over by a car -- and help with engineering problems

Scientists developing new materials are studying an unlikely source of strength: a beetle that can withstand being run over by a car.

Researchers from Purdue University and the University of California, Irvine, studied the aptly named diabolical ironclad beetlePhloeodes diabolicusto understand the secret behind its strength.
If you take any beetle, and you want to collapse it with your finger, you can probably kill it,” 彼はCNNに語った.
But not the diabolical ironclad beetle. “This beetle is so tough that the energy or the force that you can do with your hand, it’s not enoughit’s like a piece of rock,” Pablo D. Zavattieri, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue and a study author, CNNに語った. “The tire of a car is not enough to collapse it.
    Experts wanted to understand why, in the hopes of re-creating such strength in construction materials.
    Using advanced microscopy, spectroscopy and in situ mechanical testing, researchers identified the architectural designs within the creature’s exoskeleton.
    The scientists discovered that the diabolical ironclad beetle’s super-toughness lies in its armor. The insect has two armorlikeelytron used in flying beetles to deploy wingsthat meet at a line, called a suture, running the length of its abdomen.
    A CT scan of the diabolical ironclad beetle shows how its organs are spaced beneath a super-tough exoskeleton.

    Millions of years ago, most beetles flew, Zavattieri explained. “This particular beetle, as part of the evolution process, it doesn’t fly any more,” 彼は言った.
    Though the diabolical ironclad beetle doesn’t use its elyton for flight, the elytra and connective suture instead help to distribute applied force more evenly throughout the insect’s body.
    Zavattieri explained that the suture acts like a jigsaw puzzle, connecting the creature’s various exoskeletal blades in the abdomen, which lock to prevent themselves from pulling out.
    If the suture is broken, another protective mechanism also allows for the blades to deform slowly. That prevents a sudden release of energy, which would otherwise snap the beetle’s neck.
    Using steel plates, the team of researchers discovered that the creature can take an applied force of 150 newtonssome 39,000 times its body weightbefore its exoskeleton starts to fracture.
    A car tire would apply force of around 100 newtons if driving over the insect on a dirt surface, scientists said.
    The team hopes that in better understanding how the beetle withstands such force, they can develop tougher materials.
    One of the critical problems in engineering is connecting materials of different compositions, 例えば, connecting aluminum and steel, in fields like aerospace, Zavattieri told CNN.
    例えば, when building aircraft turbines, metals are often joined to composite materials with mechanical fasteners, which can add weight, introduce stress and ultimately lead to features and corrosion in the structure.
    We have the materials. One of the engineering issues is how to connect them,” Zavattieri said.
      We can use these suturesthey are showing you the way the beetle does itto improve the toughness of these,” 彼は言った.
      This is a good example of how nature uses this connection,” 彼は言った. “Every single time we look at nature, we learn something new.




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