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Learning from origami to design new materials
Date:8/7/2014

ess them along one direction, they collapse uniformly in all directions. Miura-ori shows us how to use this property to make new devices. Exotic materials can be formed from traditional materials simply by altering microscopic structure."

Santangelo, with Silverberg and Itai Cohen at Cornell and Tom Hull at Western New England, describe in their new paper how to alter patterns and introduce defects to tune a thin sheet's stiffness and create a material in which physical properties can be programmed and reprogrammed.

Silverberg says, "The work brings together origami, metamaterials, programmable matter crystallography and more. It's totally bizarre and unique to have so many of these ideas intersecting at the same time."

Santangelo says active materials can change their shape, size, and/or physical properties with changes in temperature, pressure, electro-magnetic fields, or other aspects of their environment. With such materials, researchers may be able to create entire structures and systems out of single pieces that are flexible, elastic and resilient.

Santangelo adds, "In particular, this gives us the ability to make a reprogrammable material. By toggling elements of the origami structure between two stable states, we can make the structure stiffer, selectively weaken certain parts, and so on. And we can do it reversibly. Given origami's scale-free geometric character, this framework for metamaterial design can be directly transferred to milli-, micro- and nanometer size systems."

He adds that metamaterials are rapidly emerging at the frontier of scientific and technological innovation due to their exotic and tunable material properties, which arise from arrangements of smaller units within the bulk system to generate exotic, non-natural properties on larger scales. Miura-ori can be considered a mechanical metamaterial because its stiffness can be controlled by the specific fold angles of the parallelograms, Silverb
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Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert  

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