Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE A

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 72–81 | Cite as

On the vein-stiffening membrane structure of a dragonfly hind wing

  • Zhong-xue Li
  • Wei Shen
  • Gen-shu Tong
  • Jia-meng Tian
  • Loc Vu-Quoc


Aiming at exploring the excellent structural performance of the vein-stiffening membrane structure of dragonfly hind wings, we analyzed two planar computational models and three 3D computational models with cambered corrugation based on the finite element method. It is shown that the vein size in different zones is proportional to the magnitude of the vein internal force when the wing structure is subjected to uniform out-of-plane transverse loading. The membrane contributes little to the flexural stiffness of the planar wing models, while exerting an immense impact upon the stiffness of the 3D wing models with cambered corrugation. If a lumped mass of 10% of the wing is fixed on the leading edge close to the wing tip, the wing fundamental frequency decreases by 10.7%∼13.2%; if a lumped mass is connected to the wing via multiple springs, the wing fundamental frequency decreases by 16.0%∼18.0%. Such decrease in fundamental frequency explains the special function of the wing pterostigma in alleviating the wing quivering effect. These particular features of dragonfly wings can be mimicked in the design of new-style reticulately stiffening thin-walled roof systems and flapping wings in novel intelligent aerial vehicles.

Key words

Dragonfly wing Venation pattern Wing membrane Pterostigma Bionics Quivering effect 

CLC number

TH113 TH161 


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Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhong-xue Li
    • 1
  • Wei Shen
    • 1
  • Gen-shu Tong
    • 1
  • Jia-meng Tian
    • 1
  • Loc Vu-Quoc
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Structural EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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