Multifunctionality of insect cuticle: friction and optics

Insects did it first! Inspired by beetle iridescence and a scientist who has studied them (Ainsley Seago), the ABC Lab, the INHS Insect Collection, and the Materials Tribology Lab teamed up to study the multifunctionality of insect cuticle. Back down the evolutionary tree of beetles, some species developed iridescent cuticle, and others did not. This […]

New paper: Latching of the click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) thoracic hinge enabled by the morphology and mechanics of conformal structures

When you see these images of the beetle peg morphology, doesn’t it make you wonder about the contact mechanics? Us too! In this work by Ophelia and Lihua, we describe how the snap of the click beetle is enabled by the rigid peg. But we also say that the contact mechanics matter. So interesting how […]

New paper from Jiho: strengthening the complex fluid analogy

How does a high-water-content hydrogel surface respond to step changes in speed? Jiho measured the lubrication mechanics of a complex shear interface through tribo-rheometry to try and figure it out. Out of all the possible responses, we find a combined time-dependent and shear-thinning response, just like a complex fluid. Check it out for more details.