Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design

, Volume 11, Issue 2–3, pp 201–210 | Cite as

Microstructures of chafer cuticle and biomimetic design

  • B Chen
  • J. FAN


Insect cuticle has high strength and high fracture-toughness. The superior material properties are closely related to the various particular microstructures in the cuticle, which has passed through natural optimization for thousands of years. In this work, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used for observing the various microstructures in a chafer cuticle. The observation revealed that there are several special microstructures that include helicoidal layups, round-hole-fiber arrangements and branched fibers in the cuticle. These microstructures were analyzed in order to learn more about the strength and toughness mechanisms of these microstructures. Several biomimetic composites were then designed and fabricated with special processes and moulds. Obtained biomimetic composites were tested for investigating their strength and toughness and then compared with those of conventional man-made composites. It was shown that the mechanical properties of the biomimetic composites are remarkably better than those of the corresponding conventional man-made composites.


biomimetic design chafer cuticle fabrication microstructure verification 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and Environmental ScienceChongqing UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of EngineeringAlfred UniversityAlfredUSA

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