Attaining Desired Deformations of Flexible Structures through Mechanical and Non-Mechanical Stimuli
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The development of flexible and foldable structures is a game-changing technology in many engineering, architecture, and design fields. This technology allows for structures and devices that are reusable, adaptable, portable and deployable while performing their desired functions. One classical example is deployable antennas for space applications. Recent applications are in biomedicine, architectural facades, transformable- and portable shelters, among others. This study presents parametric studies on understanding deformations of two types of flexible structures activated by thermal and mechanical stimuli. The first type of flexible structures consists of bilayer materials, which have significant differences in their thermo-mechanical properties. The second type is made of relatively stiff flat panels with relief cutting or kerfing patterns. The kerfing patterns increase the flexibilities of the plates. Parametric studies are conducted on these flexible structures in order to examine the effects of the material and geometrical parameters on the overall deformations of the structures. Several applications are illustrated in order to show how to form the desired shapes by designing the flexible structures with certain microstructural characteristics.
Chen, Renzhe (2018). Attaining Desired Deformations of Flexible Structures through Mechanical and Non-Mechanical Stimuli. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from