How the diabolical ironclad beetle survives getting run over by a car | Boing Boing

What makes the diabolical ironclad beetle (the insect’s actual common name) so indestructible? To find out, researchers at the  University of California, Irvine and their colleagues repeatedly drove over them with their cars. Yes, the creepy crawlers survived the tire test and countless other more exacting compression tests in the laboratory. After years of research, materials scientist David Kisailus and grad student Jesus Rivera committed that its the combination of the material and structure of the beetle’s exoskeleton which is distinct than other beetles. They reported their findings in this week’s issue of the scientific journal Nature. Now, the scientists are taking inspiration from the diabolical ironclad beetle’s unique exoskeleton to develop new kinds of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic fasteners that are stronger than traditional counterparts. From UC Irvine:
“The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it’s not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank,” said principle investigator ……

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