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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 22;8(1):9522. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27877-1.

Twist of Tubular Mechanical Metamaterials Based on Waterbomb Origami.

Feng H1,2, Ma J1,2, Chen Y3,4, You Z5.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Mechanism Theory and Equipment Design of Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
3
Key Laboratory of Mechanism Theory and Equipment Design of Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China. yan_chen@tju.edu.cn.
4
School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China. yan_chen@tju.edu.cn.
5
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PJ, UK.

Abstract

Origami-inspired mechanical metamaterials have recently drawn increasing attention since their flexible mechanical performance has been greatly enhanced by introducing origami patterns to the thin-shell structures. As a typical origami pattern, the waterbomb tube could be adopted to the design of mechanical metamaterials. However, existing designs predominantly make use of the radial expansion/contraction motion of the structure, thereby limiting its full potential to be explored. Here we report a twist motion of tubular mechanical metamaterials based on waterbomb origami that is previously undiscovered. We demonstrate through a detailed kinematic analysis that the initial twist is a rigid-origami motion if the corresponding row of the tube under twist is fully squeezed with both line and plane symmetry, whereas all the subsequent twist motion requires material deformation. The twist angle per axial strain and its relationship with the geometrical parameters of the tube are revealed. Experimental results show the enhancement in stiffness of the tube with the occurrence of the continuous twist motion. We envisage that this finding could greatly expand the application of the waterbomb tube in the design of origami metamaterials with programmable and tuneable mechanical properties.

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