Beetle’s inspirational defence mechanism
Brachinus crepitans is a centimetre-long beetle that deters predators, such as ants and frogs, by turning its back to the attacker and loudly squirting it with a mist of irritating liquid. A few years ago, a research group at the University of Leeds had the idea of developing the beetle’s technique into a new spray technology.
The mist is generated using heat and not pressure, which is the case for the spray technology used in modern engines. The new spray technology is now being developed further by researchers at the Division of Combustion Engines at Lund University, in collaboration with Swedish Biomimetics 3000. The hope is that it can be used for fuel injection in diesel engines.
In the course of 2015, the researchers expect to complete their preliminary study for a prototype. Once the technology is installed in diesel engines, it will mean cheaper fuel injectors that require less energy and offer the possibility of reduced emissions, according to Per Tunestål, Professor of Combustion Engines at Lund University and one of those who took the initiative to develop the technology for diesel injection.
Text: Pia Romare