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"Folded Shell Structures"

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C”By introducing a local texture (such as corrugations, dimples, etc.) to thin-walled shells, their mechanical properties can be favourably modified. A novel method of introducing such texture is the use of tessellated Origami folding patterns.

The resulting Folded Shell Structures have a distinct structural hierarchy: globally they can be regarded as thin-walled shells, but at a meso scale they consist of tessellated unit cells, which in turn are composed of thin-walled shells joined at distinct fold lines. It is the hierarchical interaction between the articulation at the fold lines and the deformation of the interlying facets, which imbues these shells with unconventional mechanical properties.

The intriguing mechanical properties of Folded Shell Structures are highlighted by way of two example sheets. The fold patterns allow the sheets to undergo large deformations, as well as change their global Gaussian curvature without stretching the material. Furthermore, both example sheets share the remarkable property that their Poisson’s ratio under bending is of opposite sign to that under extension.

A simple numerical model is presented to capture the key deformation modes of the folded shell structures, which represents the fold patterns as a pin-jointed truss. The salient kinematics of the sheets are then described in terms of their unit cell deformations, and a modal analysis of the sheets studies the effects of geometry and material properties. Lastly, an important challenge is the manufacture of these folded shell structures; a novel manufacturing method is described to fold these shell structures from sheet metal.”

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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