Using atomic force microscopic and tribometry techniques, we characterized the cuticle surface of the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) and studied lubrication properties of the wax developed to protect the cuticle. Experimental results showed that the roach cuticle had the ability to self-clean and that there were dimples on its surface to naturally disperse wax. It was observed by changes in friction that a thicker layer of wax was formed at the ventral abdomen, where dimples were present, than at the dorsal abdomen, which had no major features. The wax was found to have similar lubrication properties as commercial automobile oil, but with the ability to form thin films and repel dust. The dust repelling qualities make it a potential candidate for the lubrication of microelectromechanical system and nanoelectromechanical system devices that require supercleaning surfaces that is cost effective.
Lubrication and Surface Properties of Roach Cuticle
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Cooper, R., Lee, H., González, J. M., Butler, J., Vinson, S. B., and Liang, H. (December 4, 2008). "Lubrication and Surface Properties of Roach Cuticle." ASME. J. Tribol. January 2009; 131(1): 014502. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3002327
Download citation file: