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Origami-inspired Foldable Textile Composites



Recently, a significant number of studies have focused on the use of origami patterns for creating novel deployable structures and devices. For example, in aerospace applications, there is a crucial need to improve the packaging efficiency of a deployable component and this can be obtained through having a low packaging volume to the deployed size ratio. Other than occupying less space, these structures are lightweight, flexible, affordable, and have a stiffness that is higher than the construction material. It is clearly desirable to find a novel fabrication method to form an origami-based structure from lightweight composite materials which can be easily manufactured and costeffective. In this study, an out-of-autoclave method is employed to develop a novel approach that is both simple and affordable. These techniques are then implemented to manufacture an origami-inspired cylindrical design based on a fiber-reinforced composite. Tests are undertaken on simple foldable structures to investigate the bending behavior of the joints within an origami structure. The simple test samples are subjected to cyclic compression tests in order to evaluate their bending stiffness. Micro computed tomography (XCT) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) testing was also conducted to understand the structure of the fold region. In summary, the fabrication method has been shown to be successful with the structure exhibiting an energy recovery due to the presence of the folds.


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