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The Architecture of the Dragonfly Wing: A Study of the Structural and Fluid Dynamic Capabilities of the Anisoptera’s Forewing

[+] Author Affiliations
Maria Mingallon, Sakthivel Ramaswamy

The Architectural Association, London, UK

Paper No. IMECE2011-62849, pp. 723-730; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering; Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5488-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper studies the smart behaviour observed in the dragonfly wing combining advanced digital modelling techniques with non-linear structural analysis. The morphology of the dragonfly wing is an optimal natural construction built by a complex patterning process, developed through evolution as a response to force flows and material organisation. The seemingly random variations of quadrangular and polygonal patterns follow multi-hierarchical organizational logics enabling it to alter between rigid and flexible configurations. By means of digital experiments, this paper reveals how the geometrical complexity of the wing responds to function and efficiency, displaying emergent behaviour and being responsible for its performance capacity in passive flight.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Fluids , Wings



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