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Tensile Properties of Insect Tracheal Tubes

[+] Author Affiliations
Matthew R. Webster, Raffaella De Vita, Jeffrey N. Twigg, John J. Socha

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. SMASIS2010-3859, pp. 863-867; 5 pages
  • ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Volume 1
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 28–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4415-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3886-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Insects are able to efficiently transport oxygen to all the cells in their body by means of a complex network of tracheal tubes. In this study, the mechanical properties of such tracheal tubes excised from American (Periplaneta Americana) cockroaches were investigated. Toward this end, a micron-scale tensile testing machine was designed and used in order to apply radial loads to ring-shaped specimens obtained from tracheal tubes. The machine was equipped with a video camera system for accurate strain measurements. The results indicated that the elastic modulus of these tracheal tubes was on the order of 273 MPA and the ultimate stress and strain of this material in the radial direction was 9.8 MPa and 11% respectively.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Trachea



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