Journal Article Flexible flapping wings with self-organized microwrinkles

田中, 博人  ,  Tanaka, Hiroto  ,  Okada, Hiroyuki  ,  Okada, Hiroyuki  ,  Shimasue, Yosuke  ,  Shimasue, Yosuke  ,  Liu, Hao  ,  Liu, Hao

10p.046005 , 2015-06 , IOP Publishing
Bio-inspired flapping wings with a wrinkled wing membrane were designed and fabricated. The wings consist of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic frames and a polymer film with microscale wrinkles inspired by bird feathers and the corrugations of insect wings. The flexural and tensile stiffness of the wrinkled film can be controlled by modifying the orientations and waveforms of the wrinkles, thereby expanding the design space of flexible wings for micro flapping-wing aerial robots. A self-organization phenomenon was exploited in the fabrication of the microwrinkles such that microscale wrinkles spanning a broad wing area were spontaneously created. The wavy shape of these self-organized wrinkles was used as a mould, and a Parylene film was deposited onto the mould to form a wrinkled wing film. The effect of the waveforms of the wrinkles on the film stiffness was investigated theoretically, computationally and experimentally. Compared with a flat film, the flexural stiffness was increased by two orders of magnitude, and the tensile stiffness was reduced by two orders of magnitude. To demonstrate the effect of the wrinkles on the actual deformation of the flapping wings and the resulting aerodynamic forces, the fabricated wrinkled wings were tested using a tethered electric flapping mechanism. Chordwise unidirectional wrinkles were found to prevent fluttering near the trailing edge and to produce a greater aerodynamic lift compared with a flat wing or a wing with spanwise wrinkles. Our results suggest that the fine stiffness control of the wing film that can be achieved by tuning the microwrinkles can improve the aerodynamic performance of future flapping-wing aerial robots.

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