Structure and Frictional Properties of the Leg Joint of the Beetle Pachnoda marginata (Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae) as an Inspiration for Technical Joints
The efficient locomotion of insects is not only inspiring for control algorithms but also promises innovations for the reduction of friction in joints. After previous analysis of the leg kinematics and the topological characterization of the contacting joint surfaces in the beetle Pachnoda marginata, in the present paper, we report on the measurement of the coefficient of friction within the leg joints exhibiting an anisotropic frictional behavior in different sliding directions. In addition, the simulation of the mechanical behavior of a single microstructural element helped us to understand the interactions between the contact parts of this tribological system. These findings were partly transferred to a technical contact pair which is typical for such an application as joint connectors in the automotive field. This innovation helped to reduce the coefficient of friction under dry sliding conditions up to 17%.