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Folded Shell Structures

A thesis submitted for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
31 August 2011

Mark Schenk
Clare College
University of Cambridge

Supervisor: S.D. Guest


I declare that, except for commonly understood and accepted ideas, or
where specific reference is made to the research of other authors, this
dissertation is the result of my own original work and includes nothing
which is the outcome of work done in collaboration. I further state
that this dissertation has not been previously or is currently being
submitted, either in part or as a whole, for any degree, diploma, or
other qualification at any other university. The thesis presented is 148
pages, containing approximately 32000 words and 91 figures, and does
thus not exceed the limit of length prescribed by the Degree Commitee
of the Faculty of Engineering.


I would like to extend a warm thank you to my supervisor Simon Guest
for his time, advice and insights throughout my PhD. A few further
words of thanks are due. To Keith Seffen for many interesting discussions on the mechanics of folded sheets, which helped crystallise several
ideas on unit cell kinematics. To Julian Allwood for his infectious enthusiasm when presented with the challenge of manufacturing a Miura
sheet from metal, which opened up a whole new direction of study.


while the other has points of positive and negative Gaussian curvature. The former is primarily a kinematic problem. The salient global deformations of the sheets were analysed in terms of the kinematics of the constituent unit cells. Both consist of a tessellation of parallelogram facets. which in turn are composed of thin-walled shells joined at distinct fold lines. whereby the sheet contracts in two directions simultaneously. by virtue of the opening and closing of folds. gradual folding and pre-gathering techniques. The global sheet deformations are a combination of bending along the folds. Secondly. and additional planarity constraints between facets enabled the inclusion of a bending stiffness for the facets and fold lines. iii .Abstract A novel type of shell structure was analysed. A novel cold gas pressure manufacturing method was introduced. with a parallel in the flexibility of hinged plate structures. Two example folded shell structures are introduced. It is this structural hierarchy that imbues the folded shell structures with their interesting mechanical properties. Existing methods were reviewed. A modal analysis of the sheet’s stiffness matrix showed that the characteristic deformation modes are among the dominant eigenmodes of the sheets for a wide range of geometries and material properties. with no stretching at the material level. These shell structures have a distinct structural hierarchy: globally they can be regarded as thin-walled shells. when bending the Miura sheet it exhibits a negative Poisson’s ratio behaviour and deforms anticlastically. e. The first property of interest is their increased in-plane flexibility. both sheets can modify their global Gaussian curvature. The characteristic in-plane and out-of-plane properties of the sheets followed directly from developable deformations of the tessellated unit cells. and deformation of the interlying material. with only minimal material deformations. but at a meso scale they consist of tessellated unit cells. the Miura and Eggbox sheet. both sheets exhibit an oppositely signed Poisson’s ratio for in-plane and out-of-plane deformations. A more holistic top-down numerical approach modelled the sheets as an array of unit cells. The sheets were represented by a pin-jointed bar framework.g. The Miura and Eggbox sheet respectively have an effective negative and positive in-plane Poisson’s ratio. folded shell structures. The manufacturing processes must overcome the intrinsic kinematics of the sheets. and classified into synchronous folding. A review of the mathematics of rigid origami provides the necessary background to develop non-trivial geometries of these folded shells that still exhibit a soft deformation mode. Thirdly. and it was shown that a simple plastic hinge model cannot yet fully account for the total required forming energy. Many folded shell structures can be folded from flat sheet material. the first is developable.

. . . . . . . .3 Texture – Impact Absorption . . . . . 45 4 Kinematic Analysis 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Mechanical Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Out-of-Plane Kinematics . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Origami Folding and Foldability . . .1 4. . . . .1. . . 58 4.1 1 Outline . . . . . . . . . .2 Texture – Flexibility . . . . . . . . . .Contents 1 Introduction 1. . 28 Conclusions . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . .3 5 Textured Shell Structures . . . . . . . . . . . 34 3. 5 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Rigid Foldability . . . . . . . 5 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 4. . 32 3. . . . . . . . . . .1 2. . . . . . . . . . . 32 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 2. . .1 4 32 Description . . . . . . .1 Curvature and Creases . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . 12 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Miura Sheet . . . . .1 Texture – Bending Stiffness . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . 2 Background and Concepts 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . .3 Structural Analysis .2 47 Planar Kinematics . . . . . . 31 3 Folded Shell Structures 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Eggbox Sheet . . . . . . . .1 Miura Sheet . . .4 Folded Shell Structures . . 16 2. . . .2. . . . . . . . 16 2. . . . 15 2. . . . . . . . . 67 iv . . . . 48 4.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . .2 Eggbox Sheet .3 Fold Pattern Design . 47 4. . . . . . .1 Example Sheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . .2 2. . . . . . . . . . .

. . .2. . . . . . . . . . . .1 5.2 Process Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding .4 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 5. . . . .2. . .3 72 73 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework . . . . . 116 6. .1 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.1 Process Description . . . . . . . 95 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 6. . 107 6. . . .1. . . 73 5.1. . . . 102 6. . . . . . . 74 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 5. . . .3 6.3. . . . . 117 6. . . . . . . . .CONTENTS 4. .2. . . . . . . . . .2 Curve Veering & Imperfections . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Conclusions . .1 Synchrononous Folding Processes . . . 79 5. . . . .1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . .1 Symmetry Analysis . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Gradual Folding Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 5. . . . . . 117 6. . . 93 6 Manufacture of Folded Sheets 94 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Conclusion & Discussion . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Manufacturing Trials . . . . . . . . .2 Kinematics: Compatibility . . . . 117 6. . . . . 135 References 137 v . . .2 Review of Manufacturing Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Modal Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . 94 6. . . . . . . . . . . 133 7. . . . . . . . . . . 132 7 Conclusions & Future Work 133 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . .2 Future Work . .3 Stiffness: Material Stiffness . . . . . . . . . .4 Extensions to Framework Analysis . . . 5 Numerical Analysis 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . .1 Governing Equations . . . .3 Pre-Gathering Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 5. . . . . . . . . . . 126 Conclusions . .

material anisotropy and pre-stress it is possible to design multi-stable shells. dimples. These shells can switch repeatedly and reliably between multiple states. by an appropriate design of their global geometry. thin-walled shells have been designed with the purpose of carrying external loads efficiently and rigidly. Figure 1. Globally they can be regarded as thin-walled shells.) to otherwise isotropic thin-walled sheets. the global mechanical properties of the sheets can be favourably modified. using a combination of geometry. The local texture has no clearly defined scale. For example. In both cases the bistability is introduced by tailoring the fibre layup of a composite laminate shell. where the texture provides a distinct kinematic layer to the mechanical properties (Seffen. 2011). This thesis forms part of ongoing work to extend the capabilities of conventional shell structures. Alternatively. 1 . a more advanced extension is a pre-stressed bistable corrugated sheet. folds. but at meso scale they consist of a tessellation of unit cells. The folded shell structures described in this thesis are examples of such sheets. but lies somewhere between the material and the structural level. and the surface may have points or lines of nonzero Gaussian curvature where the facets meet. A classic example is a corrugated sheet. 2009).1.Chapter 1 Introduction Traditionally. These folds may be straight or curved. The research into textured thin-walled shells branched into the development of compliant shell mechanisms.. By introducing a local texture (such as corrugations. and a bistable helicopter blade that changes shape during hover and vertical lift (Daynes et al. where the bending stiffness is increased through the local geometry. 2006). which imbues these shells with unconventional mechanical properties. Examples include bistable deployable cylindrical booms (Guest & Pellegrino. etc. It is the hierarchical interaction between the articulation at the fold lines and the deformation of the interlying facets. adapting to different functional requirements. where the local texture locks in the stored strain energy (Norman et al.. which in turn are composed of thin-walled facets joined at distinct fold lines. and expand the applications beyond their traditional remit. the mechanical properties and the range of applications can be extended by means of textured shell structures. 2008b).

such as in-plane and out-of-plane coupling. The aim is to describe the kinematic and structural properties. The presented study is a first analysis of folded shell structures and their mechanical properties. they have the ability to undergo large displacements within soft mechanistic deformation modes.1: The morphing curved corrugated shell investigated by Norman et al. potential applications of folded shell structures certainly exist and will briefly be highlighted. Firstly. with only developable deformations at material level. A common thread further appears to be the ability of the shells to change their global Gaussian curvature. Consequently. there is an anisotropy in deformation modes. which ensures the presence of a soft kinematic mechanism. instead. Nonetheless. The characteristic behaviour of folded shell structures straddles that of structures and mechanisms. There may also be a non-trivial interaction between different modes. Furthermore.e. a broad foundation was established for the design. Low-level effects such as material fatigue at the fold lines are not currently considered. analysis and manufacture of these types of structures.Figure 1. A review of the mathematics of rigid origami provides a solid theoretical background for the design of folded shell structures. i. This study has generally been agnostic towards any specific applications. (2009) is an example of a compliant shell mechanism. and inhibit deformation in other modes. 2 . Our focus is on the mechanistic deformations of the folded sheets. and we generally consider the deformation of the interlying material as developable (i. as the fold lines enable motion in some. and under bending it can assume global shapes with both positive or negative Gaussian curvature (bottom). the curvature of an equivalent mid-plane. Under uni-axial tension the shell coils up tighter (top-right). and find suitable modelling methods to capture their salient behaviour. a potential impediment to their practical applications is removed by investigating suitable manufacturing techniques.e. no stretching of the material).

but morphing is limited to one direction. some folded shells can be tailored for a desired coupling between extension and bending. the maximally attainable in-plane strains and resulting fatigue at the fold lines are currently unknown. reduced hysteris. For example. For example. including a folded skin mounted on a load bearing variable geometry truss. An important aspect is the development of a suitable morphing skin. but notes that the level of maturity for morphing skins is low and the existing concepts are very early in development. The requirements are demanding and contradictory: the skin should be light-weight. have a low membrane stiffness (small actuation forces). the ultimate aim is to modify the wing’s aerodynamic profile during flight. Thill et al. Those honeycombs either support a closed elastic skin. Ramrakhyani et al. The design of such mechanisms treads a fine line between achieving adequate stiffness in order to exert sufficient force at the end-effector. and attain doubly-curved configurations. (2006) explored a promising solution using highly anistropic corrugated skins. this concept has not been further pursued. A possible application may be found in supportive exoskeletons. 2009). however. the shell’s stiff deformation modes may then be employed to actively transmit forces. or are filled with a low modulus material to form a closed surface. such as healthcare workers and mechan- 3 . Olympio (2009) explores the concept of morphing honeycombs. to adapt to changing conditions. high flexural stiffness (to withstand aerodynamic loads) and be able to attain large strain rates (Olympio. to support a user’s upper body weight and thereby reduce health problems for people in professions with heavy lifting and long uncomfortable postures. whilst maintaining their bending stiffness. Many issues. are unresolved. whose Poisson’s ratio can be tailored to requirements. relying on elastic deformation of its elements rather than conventional joints and hinges. (2008) provides an extensive review of proposals. Yokozeki et al. Furthermore.Morphing Skins An emerging field of research is concerned with the technical challenges of designing morphing aircraft. this provides the desired combination of mechanical properties. and ease of manufacture without assembly. The folded shell structures may extend this concept beyond the current linkage-based compliant mechanisms towards compliant surfaces. zero backlash and wear. however. they can expand biaxially. and yet be flexible enough that the required motion due to applied loads is realised. The folded shell structures provide an unexplored area for morphing skins. (2005) proposed several skin concepts. Compliant Mechanisms Compliant mechanisms are designed to transmit both motion and force mechanically. with a promising combination of mechanical properties. and the shell’s strongly non-linear Poisson’s ratio may be undesirable. Advantages include high displacement accuracy. rather than merely passively resist external loads. They can be designed to have low in-plane moduli. the X-arm project by InteSpring (2011) investigates the potential applications of a passive exoskeleton.

Architectural Fa¸ cades Much of recent theoretical work on rigid origami folding was motivated by the desire to design deployable architectural structures. 4 . Their characteristic in-plane and outof-plane properties were described in terms of developable deformations of the unit cells. but preserve the ability to transmit forces. Chapter 4 describes the global deformations of folded shell structures. Their characteristic mechanical properties are described and illustrated with some demonstrative experiments. The distinct fold lines in the shell surface invite a strong link to origami folding. Existing manufacturing processes are reviewed and classified. by analysing the kinematics of its constituent unit cells. the textured sheets may also be used as static cladding material. roofs and shelters. 1. providing a flexible building envelope that can adjust to changes in shape. whether for structural. The numerical analysis in Chapter 5 takes a more holistic approach to the global sheet deformations. and potential modelling methods are discussed. and examples from the literature were classified by their dominant structural purpose. for their ability to conform to doubly-curved surfaces. as a first step towards an equivalent continuum model. Furthermore. The folded shells were modelled as pin-jointed trusses with additional planarity constraints to provide bending stiffness for the folds and facets.1. A modal analysis establishes the dominant deformation modes for a range of geometries and material properties.1 Outline Chapter 2 establishes the necessary context and concepts for the study of folded shell structures. and the recent developments in the mathematics of rigid origami are presented as a means to design folded shell structures with soft internal deformation modes. This analysis provides the compatibility equations. The mathematics of curvature and creases was summarised to provide essential concepts for the deformations of these shells. Chapter 6 describes the manufacturing challenges of developable folded sheets. A novel cold gas pressure manufacturing method is proposed. such as fa¸cades. Chapter 3 introduces two representative example folded shell structures. The folded shell structures may serve a different architectural purpose.1 Outline ics. and the required forming pressures are derived analytically and compared with experimental data. Compliant shell mechanisms may provide the capability to conform to the user’s movements. The state of the art in textured shell structures is described. functional or visual purposes.

Miura (1969) exploited the increased circumferential bending stiffness. The shell’s base material will generally be isotropic. Rather than considering the buckled sheets as failed. inspired by the stable inextensional postbuckling geometry of axially compressed cylinders. Exploiting their increased stiffness at minimal expense of weight. but at the expense of its in-plane stiffness. 2007). The mechanical properties of corrugated sheets are now well established. they enabled the construction of large-span enclosures such as the great railway stations of the Victorian era (Mornement & Holloway. Junkers (1929) used corrugated sheets as the outer skin for several aircraft designs. and the change in mechanical properties is entirely due to the local geometry. Paradoxically. or its increase in flexibility.Chapter 2 Background and Concepts 2. which Samanta & Mukhopadhyay (1999) extended to folded plate corrugations. These globally curved shells consist of planar facets joined at straight fold lines. Briassoulis (1986) provided the equivalent shell properties of smoothly corrugated sheets. 2.1 Texture – Bending Stiffness The primary application of local texture in thin-walled shells has been to increase the shell’s bending stiffness. The classic example is corrugated sheets. by increasing the second moment of area.1. Pseudo-Cylindrical Concave Polyhedral (PCCP) shells. Invented in 1829 by Henry Palmer. the main structural applications for these types of shell structures either exploit the texture for its increase in stiffness. Proposed applications included undersea pressure hulls due to the increased buckling resis- 5 . and their local geometry increases the shell’s bending stiffness. with surface features at a scale intermediate to the material and global structural scale. known as the Yoshimura pattern. Miura (1969) introduced a category of textured shell structures.1 Textured Shell Structures A versatile and promising means of extending the mechanical properties of thinwalled shells is to introduce a local texture pattern. and have been ubiquitous ever since.

1952). the features are generally less pronounced and the appearance of a globally thin-walled shell is therefore stronger.1 Textured Shell Structures tance (Knapp.g. The dimpled sheet described by Pfistershammer (1952) aims to minimise the variability in bending stiffness by a suitable choice of dimple pattern and their up/down orientation. 1968. but no studies of preferred patterns have been found. Ewald (1948) describes a sheet where the texture consists of alternating protrusions. Countless variations of textured cores have been found in the literature. 6 . 2010). A commercial application was found in textured drinking cans. Another important textured core material was first introduced by Rapp (1960). More commonly.2. 1955). whose tessellation pattern is staggered to avoid any direct fold lines in the core. Many textured sheets aim to increase the second moment of area along any bending axis.1. with an important feature that the core material can be deformed into both single and compound curvatures with minimal loss of load carrying capacity of the core. A great variety of such interlocking embossing patterns is possible (de Swart. face sheets are added on either side of the textured sheet to form a sandwich panel. see Figure 2. 1977). Engel. but also significantly contribute to the bending stiffness of the panel. An important application of textured sheets is as a stiffening element in a combined panel. Schott (1975) describes a core of a square array of alternating conical protrusions. a stress analysis of PCCP shells under both axial load and hydrostatic pressure was therefore performed by Tanizawa & Miura (1975). (2006) describe a vault-structured material. 1992). The stiffness of sheets with interlocking embossed patterns was investigated by Tewes (1966) and measurements confirmed an increased. Mirtsch et al. but highly anistropic bending stiffness. The described manufacturing process aims to minimise material deformation as well as required forming forces (Behrens & Ellert. and observed remaining preferred bending axes. (2008) describe the manufacture of ‘hump plates’. Two types of core are noteworthy. in contrast to conventional honeycomb cores. Farmer & Spangler (1962) studied the bending properties of such Collattan sheets. Pfistershammer. For the textured shells. Multiple sheets may be stacked and joined together to form a core material (e. based on a doubly-corrugated sheet which can be folded from a flat sheet without stretching of the base material: a folded core. these textured cores not only provide compressive and shear strength. Buri.. whereby two sheets are connected through humps which were formed into one or both of the cover sheets. Another proposed application of PCCP shells is their ability to cover large unsupported spans. Rauscher et al. where the material is locally buckled into a three-dimensional shape under hydrostatic pressure. 2005).2. and a detailed comparison is beyond the scope of this review. 1963. see Figure 2. and is very closely related to the use of folded plates in architecture (Salvadori & Heller. which enable the use of thinner material (Ishinabe et al.

1: Examples of textured sheets with an increased stiffness along any bending axis.2. (b) an array of dimples. (b) Pfistershammer (1952).1 Textured Shell Structures (a) Ewald (1948). (2006). (c) interlocking embossing patterns. 7 . with (a) a staggered tessellation of protrusions. (d) Mirtsch et al. and (d) a locally bulged ‘vault-structured’ material. Figure 2. (c) de Swart (1955).

with only bending operations (Rapp. 1960). which can be adjusted to fit curved surfaces.1 Textured Shell Structures (a) Schott (1975) describes a core material with conical protrusions.2. and (b) the first known example of a folded sandwich panel core. 8 . with (a) designed to conform to double curvatures. (b) a core material that can be folded from flat sheet material. Figure 2.2: Two types of textured sandwich panel cores.

which are inevitably present in cellular structures resulting from the manufacturing process. 1975b). (b) first known example of curved folded core material (Sehrndt. This decision was further motivated by the absence of suitable mass-production methods. and identify two major issues in the virtual testing simulations. 2010). and therefore cannot be folded from sheet material. In recent years there has been a revived interest in folded core material for lightweight sandwich panels for aircraft fuselages (Heimbs et al. who derived analytical predictions for the core shear strength. By providing bonding surfaces on the crests of the corrugations. an isotropic or controllable shear modulus. Nomex or Kevlar) can be folded. The first point is a reasonable implementation of imperfections in the numerical models. 1960). Figure 2. high-performance materials such as resin-impregnated aramid paper (e. with a specific focus on impact protection. The Zeta cores were instead manufactured by vacuum forming plastics. Folded Core A similar core structure.3: Examples of fold core geometries.. termed ‘Zeta core’ was analysed by Miura (1972).1 Textured Shell Structures (a) the ‘Zeta core’ provides increased bonding contact area.g. as they offer a large design space for tailored properties.2. at the expense of no longer being developable (Miura. solving the problem of moisture condensation in the core material. with an optimal efficiency found for a fold angle of ≈ 55◦ . a review is given in Chapter 6. Extensive work has taken place on experimental and numerical testing of the mechanical properties of fold cores. and the unit cells can be designed with respect to specific mechanical requirements. An important motivation is the fact that fold cores possess open ventilation channels. (2010) provide a good overview of recent work.. The application in the aerospace industry also spurred the development of continuous manufacturing techniques for fold cores. 1975b). affecting the buckling and 9 . Heimbs et al. Furthermore. the Zeta core sheet is no longer developable. or progressive press forming of aluminium sheets (Miura. and improved buckling resistance due to the ruled surface along the facets. Among its advantages were listed the high shear modulus and strength.

The possibilities include single curvature panels (Sehrndt. Another example of the combination of pre-stress and texturing was found in a study into hierarchical multi-stable dimpled shells: an array of bistable dimples provides local control over the release of pre-stress. at the level of the sheet material. which tunes the unit cell geometry to desired mechanical requirements. with varying curvatures. A combination of pre-stress and simple corrugations was used to design multi-stable corrugated shell structures (Norman et al. for example. Norman et al.2.. Bending Anisotropy The introduction of a texture to thin-walled shells will generally introduce an anistropy in its bending stiffness. A range of methods to introduce appropriate imperfections to the finite element models is discussed by Heimbs (2009) and Baranger et al. see Figure 2. 2006). 1960. meso-level. doubly-curved cores (Talakov.. to take into account interaction between skin and core.. especially for the resin-impregnated aramid paper fold cores this requires extensive correlation with experimental data (Fischer et al. Especially the ability to attain globally non-planar geometries without distortion of the core material is an important benefit of folded cores. 2007). for example in bi. While for honeycomb cores the discrepancy between the bounds was determined to be a skin effect.. 1993). densities and fold depths (Klett et al. and micro-scale. 2006). 2010). Greater control over the bistability can be obtained by exploring texture patterns. and thereby determines the global geometry of the sheet (Seffen. For some existing patterns. 2010). concerned with the global geometry of the core material. as well as helical core material designed to wrap around a cylindrical fuselage (Akishev et al. where the introduced geometry locks in the stored strain energy. While often considered undesirable. which introduces the necessary anistropy for a bistable cylindrical shell. Leb´ee & Sab (2010) derived analytical and numerical upper and lower bounds for the shear stiffness of the chevron folded core materials in a sandwich panel. 2009). both the numerical and analytical bounds were found to be too loose.and multistable structures. in the case of the folded core the large discrepancy still has no explanation and requires more refined models. The development of computational design tools has further enabled the design of more freeform geometries. Klett & Drechsler (2009) identified three design scales for folded cores: macro-level. The second point is a correct constitutive modelling of the cell wall material.1 Textured Shell Structures strength properties of the foldcore. When all dimples are oriented the 10 . 2008b).4. (2011b). Composite shells with anistropic bending stiffness have been used to enable bistability in cylindrical shell structures (Guest & Pellegrino. this anisotropy may be also be positively exploited. (2008a) describe a doublycorrugated pattern. Khaliulin & Desyatov.

(b) longitudinally curved core. 2010)..2. (2007) and Akishev et al. 11 . whilst folding from flat sheet material with minimal material deformation. enclosing a cylindrical fuselage (Akishev et al. (2010). (d) helical fold core. Images by Klett et al.1 Textured Shell Structures (a) transversely curved core. with varing density. (c) freeform core geometry.4: The versatility of folded cores is illustrated by the ability to design globally curved geometries. Figure 2. fold depth and curvature. the fold pattern is found by reflection in the two prescribed bounding curves.

1963. The proposed sheet is a smoothed version of the doubly-corrugated fold pattern to avoid stress concentrations at the folds. such as linings for cryogenic storage vessels. there is a uniform state of self stress. enabling expansion along all axes. Furthermore. 12 . including the tessellation of expansible hexagonal units.1 Textured Shell Structures same way. Fritz et al.5. French & Petty (1965) describe expansion joints which are formed by twist-folding the material at the point where corrugations meet. Various patents have been found describing an expandable sheet with a number of parallel corrugations set at an angle to each other. with a corrugation within the parallelogram facets. and the depth of the pattern is limited for weight efficiency. Lueke (1994) provides a brief review of flexible linings for cryogenic storage vessels. thereby allowing expansion of the sheet in multiple directions. The challenge in those cases is finding a satisfactory solution for the point where the corrugations intersect. Fort. Dunajeff (1941) describes several concepts for resilient sheets. but the sheet will have preferred axes of cylindrical bending orthogonal to the directions of least packing of dimples. this includes both the Eggbox and Miura sheet described in this thesis. Nettles.6. Similarly.1. is the use of perforation patterns (Duncan & Upfold. While the ability to control the anistropy of laminated composite shells is well established (e. Lastly. and suggests that strains of about 1-2% are necessary. as well as a zigzag corrugation that enables extension along two orthogonal axes. Seffen (2007) provides a simplified homogenisation of the dimpled sheet by assuming cylindrical beam-like bending and integrating the second moment of area. examples exist of sheets which distribute their in-plane flexibility throughout the surface. 1994) the possibilities and limitations of texture patterns remain largely unknown. Brunner (1968) describes expansible sheets. consisting of parallelograms joined at their edges such that each parallelogram is inclined to the midplane of the sheet.2. Dunajeff (1939) used a perforation at the vertices of crossing corrugations to avoid stress concentrations. sheets with a negative Poisson’s ratio are considered desirable. in part because they are also flexible at 45◦ to the primary axes. 2. 1970). whereas Girot (1964) describes expansion joints that can be folded from the sheet material along with the corrugations. 1992. see Figure 2. (1996) describe a modification of an Eggbox pattern. Halpin. An alternative approach to controlling the bending anistropy of thin-walled shells. Whereas the corrugated sheets concentrate the expansion along specific locations in the sheet. for example to provide stress relief for applications with large changes in temperature.g. see Figure 2.2 Texture – Flexibility Another application of textured sheets is for their in-plane flexibility. Arne (1973) places expandible conical frusta at the intersection.

5: Examples of plane expansible surfaces with expansion joints at the intersection of crossing corrugations.1 Textured Shell Structures (a) Arne (1973).2. (b) Girot (1964). 13 . Figure 2. (c) French & Petty (1965).

including (a) the first known example of the Miura sheet for engineering applications. (1996).6: Examples of plane expansible sheets. (b) the first known example of a flexible Eggbox sheet. 14 .1 Textured Shell Structures (a) Dunajeff (1941). (c) Fritz et al. (b) Brunner (1968).2. and (c) a modified Eggbox pattern that enables in-plane expansion along all axes. Figure 2.

and shows the dependency on the in-plane kinematic constraints. The shell consists of a tessellation of piecewise developable facets. Furthermore.g. these are described in Chapter 3..g. these structures display unusual properties due to the hierarchical interaction of the deformation along the fold lines and the interlying material. they were either exclusively employed for their bending stiffness (e. (2006). Yokozeki et al. For the intended application in morphing aircraft wings.1. it is desirable for the skin to be stiff in span direction. 1968). compared to equivalent honeycombs the folded core provides a more consistent forcedisplacement profile during impact. However. The distinguishing feature of the folded shell structures are the distinct fold lines which enable flexibility. which is more complex than for example for the highly orthotropic corrugated material of Yokozeki et al. 15 .1.2. 2. but also provide a texture with an increased second moment of area. Basily & Elsayed (2004) investigated the impact absorption of folded core material. Miura. and the folded sheets have the ability to absorb energy in all directions of impact. but flexible in chord. bounded by distinct fold lines. Zupan et al. rather than tearing of the material.4 Folded Shell Structures The folded shell structures described in this thesis are a type of textured shell structure. (2006) explore the idea of ultra-anistropic corrugated surfaces of composite materials. Several textured shells discussed previously fall within the definition of folded shell structures. and the sheets may be developable or may have points and lines of non-zero Gaussian curvature. and the anisotropy in bending was further increased by inserting rigid rods into the corrugations. and where any coupling between in-plane and out-of-plane properties was observed this was neglected (Lueke. Deshpande & Fleck (2003) looked at the collapse mechanism of a doubly-corrugated Eggbox sheet.1 Textured Shell Structures Most flexible textured materials only consider in-plane flexibility. (2003) further detail the collapse mechanisms. 1994). 1969) or their planar expansibility (e.. as described by Seffen (2011). Brunner. This combination creates an anistropy in the shell’s deformation modes.3 Texture – Impact Absorption A further application for textured sheets is for their ability to absorb impact through plastic deformation of the texture pattern. Analytical expressions were found for the bending stiffness along and across the corrugations. These fold lines may be curved or straight. and describe feasible geometries that induce a travelling plastic knuckle. 2.

and the solid angle G it subtends. Many folded shells can also be folded from flat sheet material. For sufficiently smooth surfaces (C 2 . In order to find the subtended angle G. before exploring the rigid foldability of tessellated fold patterns. Moreover. A translation of Gauss’ treatise on geometry of surfaces is published as Gauss (1902). Consider a closed contour k oriented counterclockwise on the surface 1 Latin: “Remarkable Theorem”. We shall first discuss the intrinsic geometry of surfaces and folds. The invariability means the Gaussian curvature is thus an intrinsic property of the surface.2) F →0 F which only involves information locally on the surface.2 Origami Folding and Foldability 2.1 Curvature and Creases Any introduction to the mathematics of origami benefits from the discussion of the curvature of surfaces. the topics presented here form only a small subset. see Figure 2. and specifically the concept of Gaussian curvature. Differential geometry describes the properties of surfaces. it enables a description of curvature at folds and vertices where the conventional notion of the radius of curvature no longer holds. The mathematics of origami is a rich and thriving field (Demaine & O’Rourke. independent of any external coordinate system.2. An intrinsic description of Gaussian curvature considers a small area F on the surface. and resulting design methods. which begs a strong link to origami folding. 2. and are selected for their application to the analysis and design of folded shell structures.2 Origami Folding and Foldability A key feature of the folded shell structures is the distinct fold lines in the surface.1) By virtue of Gauss’ Theorema Egregium 1 (Gauss. 16 . The Gaussian curvature K is then given as the product of the two principal curvatures: K = κ1 κ2 (2. the principal curvatures κ1 ≥ κ2 are defined for each interior point as the maximum and minimum (signed) curvatures for the geodesics through the point. a bending is any deformation for which the arc lengths and angles of all curves drawn on the surface remain invariant. further solidifying this connection. we introduce the spherical representation of a surface. with more detailed information in Struik (1961).7(a). 2007). The Gaussian curvature is then given as G K = lim (2. 1828) the Gaussian curvature remains invariant under bending of the surface.2. an excellent introduction is given by Hilbert & Cohn-Vossen (1952). smooth in second derivative).

Calladine. the Gaussian sphere. and the facets must therefore stay planar (provided they have no boundary edges). using the trace and the condition that its net surface must be zero. conical and tangent surfaces. At a fold line the normal vector is not uniquely defined and the arc on the trace covers all possible directions. Miura (1989) showed that 17 . A developable surface may alternatively be defined as a ruled surface (there exists a line segment through any point on the surface) for which the tangent plane is the same at any point along a line embedded in the surface. This approach may now be extended to folds and polyhedral vertices. (2009) characterise the facets of a crease pattern. which are by definition regions folded without creases. The ratio K of the area G enclosed by the resulting closed contour k 0 (the trace of the contour k) on the sphere. 1983). Using results from spherical trigonometry it can be shown that at the vertex the area G within the trace is equal to 2π minus the sum of the sector angles of the corresponding surface (Huffman. Demaine et al. and is the Gaussian curvature. to the area F enclosed by the contour k has a definite limit as k shrinks to a point. the zero Gaussian curvature everywhere on the sheet is preserved. which therefore has zero Gaussian curvature. Now transfer this set of normal vectors to the centre of a unit radius sphere. and when they add up to 2π the vertex has zero Gaussian curvature. Of interest to origami folding is the concept of developable surfaces. Any closed curve around a point on the fold line will map onto a single arc on the unit sphere. One result was that for polygonal facets (bounded by straight lines) of the crease pattern. the fold lines fold to straight line segments in space. which limits its smooth deformations to cylindrical. 1976. this is called the spherical excess.2. and are globally isometric to the plane. Under any bending or folding deformation. It follows that the spherical excess. and thereby the Gaussian curvature is independent of the fold angles beween the plane sectors. the calculated area and therefore the curvature is positive (and vice versa). When the sum of sector angles falls short of 2π the vertex has positive Gaussian curvature. or angular defect. and it provides an intrinsic measure of the curvature at the vertex. the creases are defined as discontinuities of the first derivative of the surface. These surfaces locally have Gaussian curvature everywhere zero. an algebraic relationship between the dihedral fold angles of degree-4 vertices was found. The presence of creases (or folds) in the surface greatly affects the attainable geometries. each point on the contour has an associated unit vector normal to and oriented away from the surface. The geometry of fold lines and vertices was first investigated in a landmark paper by Huffman (1976). as shown in Figure 2. the arc length therefore corresponds to the dihedral fold angle between the two planes. When k 0 is oriented counterclockwise. when it exceeds 2π it is negative.2 Origami Folding and Foldability and enclosing a point on the surface.7(b).

Images from Hilbert & Cohn-Vossen (1952). and is independent of the fold angles. The fold angle between facets is reflected by the arc length on the spherical image. Figure 2. If the contour k is traversed counterclockwise. a clockwise enclosed area on the spherical image is considered to be negative. as F shrinks to a point.2. The Gaussian curvature is defined as the limit of the ratio of the area G of the trace over the area F of the curve on the surface. The enclosed area on the trace is given as the sum of the sector angles minus 2π. (b) spherical image for polyhedral vertex. both for (a) smooth and (b) polyhedral surfaces. 18 . as is the case for the saddle shape.2 Origami Folding and Foldability (a) the spherical image of a closed contour around a point on a surface is produced by tracing the contour and transferring the unit normals to the centre of a unit sphere.7: The spherical representation provides an intrinsic view of the Gaussian curvature.

Furthermore. In recent years significant progress has been made in the understanding of rigid foldable patterns. is by the position and motion of its vertices. The investigation of rigid foldability has largely been motivated by the design of deployable structures. the mathematical concepts of rigid foldability and the resulting design methods are also of great interest. The vertices are then modelled as pin-joints and the fold lines as bars (Schenk & Guest. Origami Modelling The deformation of developable surfaces can be represented in a variety of ways. Namely. 2. but are purposely non-developable to improve the structure’s load-bearing capacity in its fully deployed state.2. Unlike the study of flat-foldability. For example. curved folding is beyond the scope of this review. additional bars and planarity constraints must be added to 19 . (2011) describe deployable structures for architectural applications. and the reader is referred to Duncan & Duncan (1982) and Fuchs & Tabachnikov (1999) for the necessary differential geometry. providing an unprecedented freedom of design. First several modelling methods for rigid origami are described. if the tessellated fold pattern is rigid-foldable there exists at least one soft internal mechanism by virtue of the bending along all fold lines. followed by an overview of recent developments in describing the rigid foldability of 1 DOF multivertex fold patterns.2 Rigid Foldability Rigid foldability considers an origami crease pattern as freely hinged flat rigid panels. rigid foldability describes the continuous route from flat to fully folded state. both developable and non-developable. For non-triangular facets. where the material does not stretch and facets do not bend. one valley and three mountain folds. Huffman (1976) also considered curved folds.2. Nodal Coordinates A convenient choice of representing the folding process of rigid origami. 2011).2 Origami Folding and Foldability the simplest origami fold is a vertex with four folds. rigid folding provides the ability to manufacture a textured surface from flat sheet material with minimal material deformation. Dureisseix et al. and explores whether a continuous folding can take place without any deformation of the facets. with a suitable choice depending on the application (Balkcom. The overview given here is restricted to rigid origami. which is concerned with the final state only. For the design of folded shell structures. 2004). which maintain their flat-foldability for compact stowage.

the closure of any loop around vertices can be reduced to the combination of local constraints around interior vertices.2. . by virtual cutting along some creases. . ρn (see Figure 2. When deriving the Jacobian of the constraint equation it is useful to realise that the partial derivative with 20 . For the numerical simulation of rigid origami. and much of the geometric work by Stachel (2010a) relies on the coupling between multiple spherical 4-bar linkages around facets. 1994).3) where χi represents the rotation around each of the fold   1 0 0 cos θi − sin θi 0   χi =  0 cos ρi − sin ρi   sin θi cos θi 0 0 sin ρi cos ρi 0 0 1 lines    (2. Balkcom (2004) used mechanism theory with forward/inverse kinematics. This is the simplest mathematical representation of origami folding. χn−1 χn = I (2. as the Jacobian of the bar length constraints is linear in the nodal coordinates. This condition is a necessary. Wu & You (2010) also exploit the analogy with spherical linkages. ρn ) = χ0 .8) the rotation matrix identity condition is written as F (ρ0 . the non-linear loop closure equations must be continuously satisfied. . If the surface is a topological disk. but also fosters the development of a more fundamental understanding of rigid foldability. The loop closure constraint (no cutting of material) then results in the identity of those rotation matrices (Kawasaki. For single vertex foldings Streinu & Whiteley (2005) further showed that the 3D folded state can be attained by continuous motion without bending of the facets. 2002). For each interior vertex and its incident fold lines Li with fold angles ρ0 . and describe the loop closure in terms of the rotations of normal vectors to the panels. using quaternions. . but not sufficient condition for rigid foldability as it does not take into consideration any self-intersection (Belcastro & Hull. Fold Angles Representing the rigid folding process in terms of the fold angles of the crease lines is not only more intuitive. 1971). . Alternatively. by analogy with spherical polygonal linkages. based on a modified version of the equations of Belcastro & Hull (2002). the facets can be modelled by hinged plane stress elements in a finite element analysis (Resch & Christiansen. Tachi (2009c) describes such a numerical method. . Belcastro & Hull (2002) describe the modelling of non-flat origami using piecewise affine (flat facets) and isometric (no stretching) transformations around each vertex. . this results in a series of rotation matrices that include both the sector and fold angles around the vertex. .2 Origami Folding and Foldability avoid deformation of the facets.4) with θi the sector angle between fold lines i and i + 1.

 . and thereby the DOF of the fold pattern.  JM ρ˙ N 0 with N the number of creases and M the number of vertices. Next configurations are found using an Euler integration and projecting each step onto the constraint space using the Moore-Penrose pseudo-inverse. and sector angles θi between Li and Li+1 .2.  Jρ˙ =  (2.   . For a multi-vertex pattern the Jacobian J will generally be overconstrained with 3M > N . 21 .8: At each vertex the incident fold lines Li have an associated fold angle ρi . but are here neglected for simplicity.  . c constitute the direction cosines for the fold line.  =  . The nullity of the matrix.   . 2010c). The nullspace of the Jacobian J provides the possible motions that satisfy the constraints. in combination with a Newton-Raphson iteration to eliminate errors. If there are holes in the surface. Finding multi-vertex crease patterns that supply that singular configuration is the challenge of rigid foldability. this is a skew symmetric matrix   0 −a c ∂F   = a (2. must therefore follow from Ns redundant constraints: DOF = N − 3M + Ns .6)  .5) 0 −b  ∂ρi −c b 0 where a. The constraints for every vertex in the sheet can subsequently be combined into a 3M × N matrix      J1 ρ˙ 1 0  . additional loop constraints must be added (Tachi. respect to a fold angle ρi represents an instantaneous rotation around the direction vector of its fold line. the number of independent constraints per vertex thereby reduces to three.  .2 Origami Folding and Foldability ρ1 ρ2 L1 L2 θ1 θ0 θ2 θ3 ρ3 L0 ρ0 L3 Figure 2.  . b.

Specifically. Watanabe & Kawaguchi (2009) described a test for infinitesimal rigid-foldability of a crease pattern with mountain-valley assignment. a crease pattern has at most N0 degrees of freedom (assuming that all facets are triangulated). The best known example of a rigid foldable degree-4 vertex pattern is the Miura-ori (Figure 2. Plane Tessellation A first type of rigid foldable mesh is described by Huffman (1976) and Kokotsakis (1933. see Figure 2. The flexibility of a quadrilateral mesh is therefore due to redundancy of constraints. with an n × n array of quadrilateral facets: N M DOF = = 2n(n − 1) (n − 1) (2. It is the plane tessellation of a degree4 vertex whereby the vertex is rotated in order to avoid contradiction of the fold angles. but a more fundamental understanding of the necessary conditions for rigid foldability of multivertex patterns is desirable.9. Rigid foldability of a general planar quadrilateral mesh is still an open question. with degree-4 vertices. the number of degrees of freedom for the overall system is limited. the number of fold lines is generally smaller than the number of constraints. where N0 is the number of vertices on the boundary of the surface (Tachi. A similar derivation was given by Dureisseix (2011) using recursion of mobility equations.2. an assigned set of fold angles will generally conflict. 2010c).11. 22 . Fig. such as parallel fold lines or an intrinsic symmetry at the vertices. and point towards a direction by which these may be extended further. see Figure 2. This was considered self-evidently rigid-foldable by Huffman (1976). In the case of quadrilateral mesh origami. We shall describe some recent developments in generalising rigid origami folding. but a more rigorous geometric proof was given by Stachel (2009).2 Origami Folding and Foldability Multi-Vertex Rigid Foldability Firstly.9) where the DOF become negative for n > 2.8) 2 = N − 3M = −(n − 2) + 1 (2. Let us consider a tessellation of degree-4 vertices. 15). consider that in a multi-vertex pattern with degree-4 vertices. using the Jacobian and Hessian of the rotation matrix introduced by Belcastro & Hull (2002). but the conditions for several classes of fold patterns are now understood. Alternatively.7) 2 (2. facets and edges are related by the EulerPoincar´e characteristic of the surface.10) and it will be used throughout this thesis. as the number of vertices.

9: Conflicting fold angle assignment for a mesh of general degree-4 vertices. as well as global symmetry with parallel fold lines. this results in a conflict at the last vertex. The pattern will therefore generally not be rigid-foldable. When a single incident fold angle ρ0 is prescribed. When looping around the central facet.2 Origami Folding and Foldability ρ0 ρ0 ρ0 ρ0 Figure 2.2. the redundancy of its constraints follows both from intrinsic symmetry at its vertices.10: The classic Miura-ori pattern is both rigid-foldable and flat-foldable. 23 . all fold angles at the vertex are subsequently defined. The Miura pattern forms the basis for the generalisations of rigid-foldable developable origami. as two incident fold angles are prescribed. π−γ π−γ γ γ Figure 2. Figure after Tachi (2010a).

Flat Foldable and Developable Tachi (2009a) described the first general extension for rigid-foldable flat-foldable degree-4 vertices. n X (−1)i θi ∈ {0. The plane tessellation of any convex quadrilateral.11: Rigid foldable tessellated fold pattern described by Huffman (1976) and Stachel (2009).2 Origami Folding and Foldability Figure 2. 2π. The Kawasaki-Justin theorem provides a necessary condition for local flat-foldability (Belcastro & Hull. to form a generalised freeform Miura-ori surface. θ3 . 2002.12) ρj 2 (i − j = 2) ± tan 2 where the latter represents that pairs of opposing fold lines have an equal absolute folding angle. 2007). Image by Stachel (2009). The consideration of flat-foldability came from a desire for compact stowage of deployable structures. Demaine & O’Rourke. .11) The relationship between the fold angles ρi and ρj incident to the vertex can be found using spherical trigonometry. is rigid foldable as all fold angles automatically connect without contradiction.2. In other words. by iterated 180◦ rotations about the midpoint of the sides. and Aij is the coefficient between these two equivalent pairs. The theorem states that for a vertex where n is even. −2π} (2. and is given as follows (Tachi. determined by θ0 . 2010b): ( ρ Aij tan 2j (i − j = 1 or 3) ρi tan = (2. it is an intrinsic measure of the crease 24 .10) i=1 holds for flat-foldable vertices. . For the case of a developable degree-4 vertex this reduces to θ0 = π − θ2 and θ1 = π − θ3 (2.

flat-foldability and planarity of facets. This directly leads to a numerical design method: starting from a partly folded configuration of a known rigid foldable pattern such as the Miura-ori. 25 . i. The resulting hybrid Miura-Voss patterns are bi-directionally flat-foldable (Tachi. including conditions for local self-intersection.13) This relationship is a special case of the general formula for an origami vertex by Huffman (1976). More importantly. whereas the Voss vertex expands in one and contracts in the orthogonal direction. and their kinematics are identical. ρ 6= 0. An alternative way of deriving this result is to note that Equation 2. Specifically. it is finitely rigid foldable. (2011) also describe a generalisation of Miura-ori into doubly-curved non-developable surfaces. Tachi (2010b) showed that the flat-foldable Miura and Voss vertices share an intrinsic symmetry. in terms of a conversion coefficient. By introducing the concept of complementary fold angles. 2010b). This provides an effective means to design freeform rigid-foldable surfaces. the pattern is rigid foldable.e. Therefore. The formulation by Huffman (1976) provides further insight into the degree-4 vertex. Flat Foldable and Non-Developable The extension to non-developable surfaces made use of recent results on the finite integrability (continuous motion) of a discrete Voss surface (Schief et al. Dureisseix et al. It is interesting to note that in its generalised form the Miura vertex will always expand in all directions simultaneously. but it retains a plane of reflective symmetry. ρ 6= π.. ρ0i = π − ρi . −π). the nodes in the crease pattern can be incrementally modified whilst satisfying a number of constraints: developability.2. each of which satisfies θ1 = θ3 and θ0 = θ2 . Tachi (2009a) uses a modified version of Equation 2. Using a loop argument around each facet he provides a necessary condition for the existence of rigid-foldable flat-foldable quadrilateral mesh origami. then s 1 + cos(θ0 − θ1 ) |A01 | = 1 + cos(θ0 + θ1 ) (2.2 Origami Folding and Foldability pattern.12 to map between the alternating pairs of fold angles. if |ρ0 | = |ρ2 | > |ρ1 | = |ρ3 |. this includes the Eggbox pattern described in Chapter 3.12 o is linear in tan ρ2i . it is shown that if there exists a partially folded state (where every fold line is semifolded. This is a planar quadrilateral mesh surface composed of degree-4 vertices. 2007).14) where t (0 ≤ t ≤ π) is the parameter that defines the amount of folding. if n 0) an arbitrary semi-folded configuration tan ρi (t 2 angles. there must exist a finite path:     ρi (t0 ) tan 2t ρi (t) = tan tan 2 2 tan t20 is found that satisfies all fold (2. A useful corollary from Tachi (2009a) states that if the conversion coefficient of every inner vertex is constant in each row or each column.

Stachel (2010b) presents several known categories of continuously flexible Kokotsakis meshes (see Figure 2. such that a Kokotsakis mesh is flexible if at each vertex Vi opposite angles are either equal or complementary: αi = βi .e. see Figure 2. IV orthogonal : here the horizontal folds are located in parallel (say: horizontal) planes. i. When each quadrilateral is seen as a rigid body and only the dihedral angles can vary. 2010a. and the vertical folds in vertical planes.12): I plane-symmetric : reflection in the plane of symmetry of V1 and V4 maps each horizontal fold onto itself while the vertical ones are exchanged. i. and shows why both are 26 . Stachel (2010b) rephrases case III. quadrilateral surfaces. Case V is newly derived by Stachel (2010a).11. II translational : there is a translation V1 7→ V4 and V2 7→ V3 mapping the three faces on the right-hand side of the vertical fold through a2 onto the triple on the left-hand side of the vertical fold through a4 . V line-symmetric : a line-reflection maps the linkage at V1 7→ V4 and V2 7→ V3 . 1933. Stachel.b). (2007). It is emphasised that a complete classification of continuously flexible Kokotsakis meshes has not yet been achieved. A Kokotsakis mesh is a polyhedral structure consisting of an n-sided central polygon P0 surrounded by a belt of polygons. The lengths of the sides of the central polygon have no bearing on the connectivity. all included Kokotsakis meshes. Each vertex Vi is the meeting point of 4 facets. γi = π − δi . the edges are geodesics and form a discrete conjugate net.2.e. the question arises under which conditions such structures are flexible. and its kinematics are therefore represented by a coupling of spherical linkages. and includes the earlier example of the plane tessellated quadrilateral shown in Figure 2. III isogonal : at each vertex the fold angles are congruent. P0 is a trapezoid. that a discrete conjugate net in general position is continuously flexible if and only if all its 3 × 3 complexes. are continuously flexible. This describes the intrinsic symmetry that unites the generalised Miura-ori pattern and Voss surface. When all quadrilaterals are planar. or αi = π − βi . In discrete differential geometry there is an interest in polyhedral structures composed of quadrilaterals. Stachel (2010a) states a theorem due to Schief et al.2 Origami Folding and Foldability Kokotsakis Meshes Recent work has shown that both the generalised Miura and Voss patterns are a subset of flexible Kokotsakis meshes (Kokotsakis. each facet is a rigid body and only the dihedral angles can vary. γi = δi . This connection unifies and further extends the families of possible rigid-foldable quadrilateral mesh patterns.12.

(d) IV . it can be non-developable. γi .e.line-symmetric. Images from Stachel (2010b). Figure 2. δi at vertex Vi . (b) I . The polygons need not be planar.plane-symmetric. there exist 5 known classes that ensure continuous flexibility (b-e).translational. (c) II .orthogonal. 27 .12: For a Kokotsakis mesh with n = 4 (a).2 Origami Folding and Foldability (a) Kokotsakis mesh with n = 4. βi . i. (e) V . with sector angles αi .2.

Topological Extensions In the previous discussion of rigid foldability. III and IV simultaneously. where a partlyfolded sheet can be interactively modified by moving individual vertices. 2. Klett & Drechsler (2009) further note that the relative simplicity of most technically relevant fold patterns is also a consequence of optimised structural and functional efficiency. such as local flat foldability and global symmetries. however. future extensions of generalised rigid-foldable degree-4 meshes will have to consider conditions around facets. it has been assumed that the quadrilateral mesh is homeomorphic to a disk. 2010b). providing its redundant flexibility. For architectural applications the ability to design a complex freeform surface geometry is desirable. We here briefly describe freeform origami design methods.2. Freeform Surfaces The minimal requirement for the design of origami fold patterns is developability. Further constraints may be added. opening up the possibility of new types of rigid-foldable origami patterns. 2009b. multiple overlapping folds and material layers do not add much performance to the resulting folded core but result in higher mass and material consumption. It is noted that the traditional Miura-ori pattern is of types II. In general. Kling (2007b) developed an ‘Aspect-Shaping-Floating’ algorithm. as well as the ability for quadrilaterals to collapse into triangular facets when nodes merge (Tachi. as the manufacturing processes rely on the repetition of a small set of operations. as well as tools to design row-tessellated fold patterns for engineering applications. 2010a). have also been extended to cylindrical surfaces in order to design rigid-foldable tubes and architectural coverings (Tachi. The restriction to flat-foldable meshes can then be relinquished. rather than on individual vertices to establish finite flexibility. but the increased complexity comes at the cost of difficulty of manufacture. Most technical applications such as folded cores therefore use relatively simple fold patterns. Several of the concepts.2 Origami Folding and Foldability continuously flexible.2.e. where an initial 28 . i.3 Fold Pattern Design Developments in the mathematics of rigid foldability. Concluding from the analysis of continuously flexible Kokotsakis meshes. whilst preserving the necessary developability constraints. the sector angles at each vertex add up to 2π. as well as the emergence of computational design tools have enabled great freedom in the design of origami patterns. Tachi (2009a) describes a freeform origami design methodology.

The modifications are parametric (modifying sector angles at the vertices). a wide range of mechanical properties can be achieved. or a hybrid of both. Khaliulin (2005) describes the synthesis of folded cores by modifying existing rowarranged patterns. without straying from simple repetitive unit cells that can be manufactured continuously. as a result of the underlying mathematics described in Kling (1997). Possibilities include transverse and longitudinal curvature (mod 1 and mod 6). The method relies on prescribing desired row/column cross sections. which thereby implicity introduces the local flat-foldability conditions around the degree-4 vertices.13. Image from Khaliulin (2005). partly-folded surface is transformed to a desired global geometry.14. with intersection points. 29 . Modular Unit Cells For many structural applications of folded sheets. The local isometry used to design the doubly periodic sheets can be regarded as reflection of the rows in mirroring planes. see Figure 2. by which the interlying surface can be constructed. A computational design methodology for Doubly Periodic Folded (DPF) surfaces is proposed by Kling (2005). local increase in core density. The resulting DPF surfaces are rigid foldable. modular unit cells are tessellated in orthogonal rows and columns.13: Overview of available modifications of a Miura-ori unit cell. By tailoring the local geometry of the unit cells. structural (adding additional facets and creases). and increased contact area with face sheets. before solving the developability constraint for each of the nodes by ‘floating’ on the surface.2 Origami Folding and Foldability Figure 2.2. see Figure 2. The available modifications provide the ability to introduce global (double) curvature. increased bonding area (mod 5) and an increase in local density (mod 4). This synthesis method offers a large scope for pattern design.

15. Image from Kling (2007b). Akishev et al. Lastly. a folded structure can be designed to lock into a prescribed configuration due to facet-to-facet contact. For example.2 Origami Folding and Foldability Figure 2. see Figure 2. and thereby produces a rigid cellular core material (McKay.2. 1984). for example for MEMS applications. 30 . and thereby introduces vertical separating walls which provide additional compressive strength. Self-Locking Patterns By purposely introducing non-flat-foldable vertices to a fold pattern. McKay (1984) describes folded core material which self-locks.14: A Doubly Periodic Folded surface can be constructed by specifying a row cross section and a column reflection scheme. Figure 2.15: A modified Miura fold pattern which is not flat foldable.4(d). self-locking patterns are of great interest when considering self-assembly of folded sheets. (2010) add self-locking to the helical fold core pattern to fix the configuration and provide flat bonding areas between adjacent helical curves. see Figure 2.

or folded sandwich panel cores) provided by the texture patterns. and forms the topic of Chapters 4 and 5.g. In rigid origami a fold pattern is modelled as rigid facets connected by frictionless hinges. in order to modify its global mechanical properties.3 Conclusions 2. to accommodate large thermal strains) or the increased out-ofplane bending stiffness (e. The compliance is driven by the hierarchical interaction of mechanistic articulation around the fold lines. The distinct fold lines increase the shell’s second moment of area. Existing applications either exploit the increased in-plane flexibility (e. folds) is introduced to a thin-walled structure. Recent work in origami mathematics has revealed several rigid-foldability conditions. It also has important consequences for the manufacture of folded sheets. A review of origami mathematics provides a background for the study of folded shell structures.3 Conclusions In textured shell structures. corrugations. corrugated sheets. in combination with the inextensional deformations of the thin-walled shells. The folded shell structures described in this thesis exploit the anisotropy of deformation modes introduced by the fold pattern. whilst simultaneously providing compliant deformation modes. the resulting mechanism rapidly becomes overconstrained and a folding motion is only possible under specific geometric conditions.2. The mechanics of these folded shell structures has not previously been studied. such as folded shell structures.g. For tessellated fold patterns.g. dimples. a local texture pattern (e. this enables the design of soft kinematic modes where the shells deform through articulation around the fold lines. 31 . as described in Chapter 6. In the case of the folded shell structures.

Lastly. may in general be curved. The Miura sheet is named after Koryo Miura who first introduced this fold pattern to engineering applications. This description covers a wide range of possible configurations. shown in Figure 3. where four fold lines meet. these sheets would form a mechanism with a single degree of freedom (DOF).1 Example Sheets Two representative examples of folded shell structures will be used throughout this thesis: the Miura and Eggbox sheet. These two patterns provide representative examples of both developable and non-developable folded shell structures. whereas the Eggbox sheet consists of alternating apices and saddle points with equal and opposite angular defect. Globally the folded shell structures can be regarded as thin-walled shells. the sheets considered here consist of regular tilings of degree-4 vertices. although global curvatures can be introduced by modifying the tessellation pattern. The folded sheets need not necessarily be developable. is the presence of distinct fold lines in the shell surface. which provides the sheet with an inherent degree of flexibility. The fold lines. but here we only consider straight fold lines and planar facets. but thereby also reduce its load-carrying capacity. If constructed of rigid panels with hinges. which are in turn composed of thin-walled facets joined at the distinct fold lines. Furthermore.Chapter 3 Folded Shell Structures 3. and may have points or lines of non-zero Gaussian curvature. built up of a tessellation of unit cells. Higher-order vertices would provide additional flexibility in the sheet.2.1 Description The distinguishing feature of the folded shell structures described in this thesis.1. but the Miura sheet is developable and can therefore be folded from flat sheet material. and thereby the facets. and it has remained the most commonly studied 32 .1. we only consider initially planar folded sheets. and we shall limit ourselves to a subset of the folded shell structures. 3. Both sheets consist of a regular tessellation of identical parallelogram facets. see Figure 3.

3.1 Description (a) overview of Miura sheet. (c) close-up of unit cells Figure 3. 33 . whereas the Eggbox sheet has an (equal and opposite) angular defect at its apices and saddle points. (b) overview of Eggbox sheet. The Miura sheet is developable.1: photographs of (a) the Miura. The models are made of standard printing paper. and (b) the Eggbox sheet. and the parallelograms in both sheets have sides of 15mm and an acute angle of 60◦ .

relates to their Poisson’s ratio. the fold patterns enable the sheets to locally expand and contract — and thereby change their global Gaussian curvature — without any stretching at material level.5(a). 3. by virtue of the folds opening and closing. 2010. however.g. some examples of modified Miura patterns are shown in Figure 3. Klett & Drechsler. and a deployable structure for architectural applications (Tachi. and thus have a zero global Gaussian curvature. Both sheets have a single in-plane mechanism whereby the facets do not bend and the folds behave as hinges. Now. facet bending is necessary for the out-ofplane deformations. Our interest lies with the macroscopic behaviour of the sheets. and we therefore consider the ‘global’ Gaussian curvature of an equivalent mid-surface of the folded sheet. unlike conventional sheets. varying densities and tapering fold depths. and helical configurations (e. the Eggbox and 34 . both folded sheets can easily be twisted into a saddle-shaped configuration which has a globally negative Gaussian curvature — see Figure 3. Moreover.. Both the Eggbox and Miura sheets are initially flat.2: The Miura sheet is folded from a single flat sheet of paper (left).4(a) and Figure 3. by contrast.4(b) and Figure 3. ‘Z-crimp’ and zigzag corrugation. the Eggbox sheet (right) is made by joining individual strips of paper. Akishev et al. In the literature the pattern goes by many monikers.2 Mechanical Properties Figure 3.5(b). in contrast. 2009.2 Mechanical Properties The first interesting property of the folded sheets is their ability to undergo relatively large deformations. Talakov. It can be straightforwardly modified to create sheets with a global (double) curvature. As shown in Figure 3.3. although it has previously been proposed as an expansible sheet material (Brunner.. 1968). 2010). which introduces the angular defects at the vertices. fold pattern. The pattern is much less common in engineering literature. such as ‘chevron’ or ‘herringbone’ pattern.3. The Eggbox pattern was simply named after its resemblance to boxes used for the storage of eggs. 2010b). The sheets’ most intriguing property.

stacked set of sheets that expand in a coordinated manner.. 2005).3.e. A negative Poisson’s ratio is fairly uncommon. 1987). and their Poisson’s ratio is of opposite sign for in-plane stretching and out-of-plane bending. 35 .5(c). Conventionally. into a saddle-shape) and materials with a negative Poisson’s ratio will deform synclastically into a spherical shape. As illustrated in Figure 3.2 Mechanical Properties Figure 3. however. but is here observed in folded sheets made of conventional materials. planar sheet.3: A selection of folded Miura geometries. continuously transversely curved. both folded textured sheets behave exactly opposite to what is conventionally expected. the Miura sheet respectively have a positive and a negative Poisson’s ratio in their planar deformation mode. materials with a positive Poisson’s ratio will deform anticlastically under bending (i. 2007) and specially machined chiral auxetics (Alderson et al.. This remarkable mechanical behaviour has only been described theoretically for auxetic composite laminates (Lim. 2010).. chiral honeycomb lattices (Prall & Lakes. 1997) and materials with hinged rotating units (Grima et al. Left to right: angled sheet.4(c) and Figure 3. but can for instance be found in foams with a reentrant microstructure (Lakes.

but it assumes a saddle-shaped configuration under bending (c). which is typical behaviour for materials with a positive Poisson’s ratio.2 Mechanical Properties (a) (b) (c) Figure 3. the Miura sheet behaves as an auxetic material (negative Poisson’s ratio) in planar deformation (b). Secondly.4: mechanical behaviour of the Miura sheet. it can be twisted into a saddle-shaped configuration with a negative global Gaussian curvature (a). 36 .3.

The spherical shape is conventionally seen in materials with a negative Poisson’s ratio. the Eggbox sheet displays a positive Poisson’s ratio under extension (b). but deforms either into a cylindrical or a spherical shape under bending (c).3. Secondly. Firstly. it can change its global Gaussian curvature by twisting into a saddle-shaped configuration (a).2 Mechanical Properties (a) (b) (c) Figure 3. 37 .5: mechanical behaviour of the Eggbox sheet.

and κ2 transversely to. 38 . which describes the coupling between the curvatures along the principal axes. Figures 3. the curvature κ1 along.5mm. Of main interest is the ratio κ1 /κ2 .2 Mechanical Properties Demonstrative Experiments To demonstrate the unexpected and contrasting bending properties of the Miura and Eggbox sheets. when bending at 45◦ we do not obtain a twisting mode. when bending along the principal axes. see Figure 3. the Eggbox sheet was constructed by glueing together two orthogonal sets of strips of parallelograms of the same paper. In order to characterise the out-of-plane bending.11(c). under minimal loading and boundary conditions. whereas one would expect the ratio of the curvatures to be inverted for the two orientations. the bending line were calculated by fitting a circle to the measured points. Several observations are of interest. and can be attributed to an induced in-plane strain along the bending axis. The coordinates of the top vertices were subsequently measured using a threeaxis coordinate measuring machine. composed of parallelograms with sides of 15mm and an acute angle of 60◦ . the deformed configuration differed when bending along or transversely to the corrugations.3.7– 3. For the Miura sheet. unlike the Miura sheet. The Miura and Eggbox sheets consisted of 5 × 5 unit cells. This can be attributed to the difficulty of imposing appropriate boundary conditions.7(c)–3. Secondly. simple three-point bending tests were carried out. The sheets were simply supported.6. and this simple experiment will therefore not excite a precise bending mode. the symmetry of the Eggbox sheet would suggest a spherical deformation mode with equal principal curvatures.11. this is not the case. to within 0. Furthermore. but rather a combination of bending and stretching. and the top vertex of the central unit cell was displaced downwards by 10mm from its rest configuration. The results are given in Figures 3. as in this configuration uninterrupted bending lines extend across the sheet. but rather a cylindrical deformation mode. The Miura sheet was folded from standard 80gr printing paper. The experiments affirmed the remarkable bending properties observed in the Miura and Eggbox sheets.

6: Experimental set-up for the three-point bending of the folded sheet. and the top node of the central unit cell is displaced downwards by 10mm from its rest configuration.3. The sheet is simply supported on two blocks. 39 .2 Mechanical Properties d = 10mm Figure 3.

3.4. longitudinally along the corrugations. Figure 3. with therefore a relatively weak coupling between the two bending axes.7: Three-point bending experiment of the Miura sheet.2 Mechanical Properties (a) overview (b) side views (c) measured nodal coordinates. 40 . The ratio κ1 /κ2 ≈ −2. with circles of curvature.

8: Three-point bending experiment of the Miura sheet.3. 41 . indicating a strong coupling between the two axes. transversely across the corrugations. Figure 3. The fitted circles of curvature provide the ratio κ1 /κ2 ≈ −1. with circles of curvature.2 Mechanical Properties (a) overview (b) side view (c) measured nodal coordinates.

Figure 3.2 Mechanical Properties (a) overview (b) side views (c) measured nodal coordinates. with bending axis at 45◦ to the corrugations.9: Three-point bending experiment of the Miura sheet. The fitted circles of curvature showed that the ratio of κ1 /κ2 ≈ −1. 42 .3. this is effectively identical to the twisting mode.3. with circles of curvature.

6. Figure 3. into the spherical deformation mode. which can be attributed to compression along the bending line.2 Mechanical Properties (a) overview (b) side views (c) measured nodal coordinates.10: Three-point bending experiment of the Eggbox sheet. with circles of curvature. The ratio κ1 /κ2 ≈ 1.3. 43 .

3. The ratio of κ1 /κ2 ≈ 6. along the double-corrugation.11: Three-point bending experiment of the Eggbox sheet. 44 .2 Mechanical Properties (a) overview (b) side views (c) measured nodal coordinates. with circles of curvature. Figure 3. and the deformed configuration is therefore almost cylindrical.5.

.12 shows a model of a planar Miura sheet manufactured by vacuum forming High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) onto a mould. This is also the approach taken in this thesis. 45 . it can attain a single (transverse) curvature. 2009. as it best elucidates the interrelationship between the various mechanical scales of the folded shell structures. For the numerical analysis of folded sandwich panel cores. Figure 3. Furthermore.3 Structural Analysis 3. the stiffness analysis of the fold lines must necessarily be simplified. and a suitable modelling method must capture this behaviour. Moving Vertices Some deformations observed in experimental models challenge the underlying assumption for the mechanical models used thus far: the fold pattern changes during the sheet’s deformation. Their mechanical properties therefore straddle that of mechanisms and structures. 2011). For the analysis of compliant shell mechanisms — which are closely related to the folded sheets discussed in this thesis — Seffen (2011) places a stronger emphasis on the hierarchical nature of these types of structures.g. and the proposed modelling method describes the global geometry in terms of unit cell kinematics. non-linear Finite Element Analysis is used. The shifting of fold vertices through the material has previously been employed for the energy dissipation in automobile crash boxes (Ma & You. Heimbs. Baranger et al. however. These simplifications.. this is made possible by virtue of the vertices moving plastically through the material. First the kinematics of the unit cells are described in Chapter 4. whereas in reality there must be a finite (but large) curvature.3 Structural Analysis The folded shell structures can be regarded as a type of compliant structure. thereby modifying the fold pattern. where the dominant deformation modes can be considered as mechanisms with a nonzero stiffness. Both approaches provide complementary insights into the deformations of the sheets. 2011a). remove many of the clouding details to gain a conceptual understanding of the kinematics of the folded shell structures. In our analysis the sheet material of the folded shell structures is assumed to have zero thickness. followed by a more holistic stiffness matrix approach in Chapter 5 where the sheets are given a simplified material model. When bending the sheet. Resch & Christiansen (1971) used a simple folded plate finite element model to analyse both the kinematics and stiffness of a triangulated folded sheet. where the global behaviour was described using an equivalent mid-surface. This implies that fold lines are infinitely sharp.3. but not for its ability to introduce additional flexibility to fold patterns. as it provides the necessary detailed modelling of local buckling and crushing (e. An analytical approach was employed by Norman (2009) for (curved) corrugated sheets. as both the curvature and material thickness are singular.

enabling the sheet to attain a single curvature [right]. the fold pattern changes slightly as the vertices move plastically through the material.3.3 Structural Analysis Figure 3. When bending. made by vacuum forming High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS).12: A model of a planar Miura sheet [left]. 46 .

The challenge lies in the finite flexibility of a tessellated pattern of degree-4 vertices. such as the Miura-ori and the Eggbox pattern. which includes the Eggbox sheet. (2007) introduce the general case of flexibility of a planar quadrilateral mesh surface. where the calculated 47 . for both example folded textured sheets a single parameter suffices to describe its current configuration. the Poisson’s ratio is primarily a kinematic property and will vary considerably with the direction of the applied strain. Stachel (2010b) describes the continuous flexibility of more general plane tessellations of degree4 vertices. In our case. This analysis provides interesting insight into the values of the instantaneous Poisson’s ratio ν for planar deformations.. and Schief et al. 1999). As a result. Furthermore. due to the local structure of the sheets the Poisson’s ratio will also be strain-dependent and non-linear. Mobility A single degree-4 vertex (whereby 4 fold lines meet). This describes the amount the structure expands or contracts orthogonally to an applied uni-axial strain. and for isotropic materials it is identical regardless of the direction of the applied strain. Poisson’s Ratio When studying the planar kinematics of the sheets. by assuming that the facets bounded by the fold lines remain rigid and the folds behave as frictionless hinges. Using geometric arguments. In classical continuum mechanics the Poisson’s ratio ν is a material property. a discrete Voss surface. or expansion coefficient.Chapter 4 Kinematic Analysis 4. an important parameter is its Poisson’s ratio. by analogy with a spherical 4-bar linkage. has a single degree of freedom (Streinu & Whiteley.1 Planar Kinematics The planar kinematics of the folded textured sheets can be described algebraically. and we shall therefore make use of the tangential Poisson’s ratio or the Poisson function (Smith et al. known as a Kokotsakis mesh. 2005). Stachel (2009) shows the 1 DOF flexibility of both these patterns. however.

Calculating the Poisson’s ratio at an angle to those chosen axes requires the effective Young’s modulus along the initial axes (Grima et al. and the difficulties in measuring its value in experiments. or expansion coefficient.6) 1 − sin2 θ sin2 γ (4. and the acute angle γ of the parallelogram elements — see Figure 4.1. 2005.1 Planar Kinematics strains are the instantaneous true (or Hencky) strains εi = δxi xi (4. as νij = − εj Wi dWj =− εi Wj dWi (4. The instantaneous Poisson’s ratio is now given by −1 νij = νji =− εj εi (4.2) where εi is the applied strain.4) The choice of a convenient set of orthogonal axes for defining the Poisson’s ratio depends on the geometry of the unit cell. 1999). this is currently beyond the scope of the analysis. where the microstructure plays an important role in the internal kinematics.4. This approach to the Poisson’s ratio is commonly used in literature on auxetic materials (Grima et al. 1999) to enable the coordinate transformation of the resulting stiffness tensor (Nye.1 Miura Sheet For the planar Miura sheet. The height H. See Smith et al. The dihedral fold angle θ between the facets and the mid-plane determines the current configuration.3) and therefore the tangential Poisson’s ratio.5) . Gibson & Ashby. the unit cell can be defined by the side lengths a and b. and εj the resulting strain orthogonal to the applied direction. we can write the strains as: εi = δWi 1 dWi = δλ Wi Wi dλ (4. (1999) for an overview of possible definitions of the Poisson’s ratio. As our focus is on the unit cell kinematics.1) with xi the length in the i-direction. 1957). 2005) and cellular solids (Gibson & Ashby. 4. Wj (λ) as a function of a single path length parameter λ... (4. Writing the width of the unit cell in the two orthogonal directions Wi (λ).1. the width 2S and length 2L of the unit cell are calculated as follows: H = a · sin θ sin γ S =b· p L=a· q cos θ tan γ 1 + cos2 θ tan2 γ (4.7) 48 .

based on the desired mechanical properties and geometry of the final folded sheet. L.12) and the fold angle ϕ is given as sin ϕ = sin ξ/ sin γ (4.9) H 2 + L2 LV V0 = √ = b · cos γ (4. When specifying the geometry directly by the unit cell dimensions H. the final folded sheet configuration can straightforwardly be converted to the fold pattern parameters (see Figure 4. 2010.2): p L0 = H 2 + L2 = a (4. b and γ describe the shape of the parallelogram. S. 1995) and may provide additional insights. 85◦ are shown).8) r H 2V 2 S0 = + S 2 = b · sin γ (4. whereas the angle θ determines the current configuration of the unit cell (θ=0. Further useful parameters are tan ξ = cos θ tan γ (4. The values a.11) sin ψ = sin θ sin γ (4. 55.1 Planar Kinematics y z π−ϕ a H γ b ξ ψ V θ 2S 2L x Figure 4.10) H 2 + L2 This enables the design of fold patterns. the unit cell can be described by H. L and V .13) 49 . S. V .4. Alternatively.1: Geometric parameters of a Miura unit cell. Ichikawa. Other parameterisations for the Miura pattern are common in literature (Klett & Drechsler.

4.1 Planar Kinematics




Figure 4.2: Dimensions of the unfolded Miura unit cell. These can be backcalculated from the desired geometry of the unit cell.
Poisson’s Ratio Using Equation 4.4, with the width S and length L of the
Miura unit cell given by Equations 4.6 and 4.7, the Poisson’s ratio ν is given as
νSL = −

S dL
L dS


which eventually reduces to
νSL = − cos2 θ tan2 γ


The results are plotted in Figure 4.3 and 4.4. Using Equation 4.11, the Poisson’s
ratio can be rewritten as
νSL = − tan2 ξ


which implies the Poisson’s ratio is only a function of the angle ξ in the xy-plane.
This relationship has important implications for some of the manufacturing techniques discussed in Chapter 6, where flat sheet material is folded using an accompanying non-planar master sheet; at any given configuration both sheets will share
the same ξ, S and L, and therefore share the same kinematics. Another interesting application may be found in deployable structures; for example, a deployable
sandwich structure, where two face sheets are placed on either side of the folding
core, as shown in Figure 4.5.


4.1 Planar Kinematics

ξ [deg]













Poisson’s ratio νSL [−]





(a) Poisson’s ratio versus angle ξ.



Poisson’s ratio νSL [−]














θ [deg]




(b) Poisson’s ratio versus θ for various values of γ; the curve for γ =
60◦ is emboldened. The arrows indicate the primary strain direction

Figure 4.3: Analysis of the instantaneous Poisson’s ratio νSL of a Miura sheet,
which is given as νSL = − cos2 θ tan2 γ = − tan2 ξ. For the geometry used in our
calculations, γ = 60◦ , this means that the sheet has a Poisson’s ratio of −1 at
θ ≈ 55◦ .


4.1 Planar Kinematics



−εL [−]














ε S [−]

Figure 4.4: The relationship of the engineering strain of a Miura sheet with γ =
60◦ , with respect to the reference configuration θ = 55◦ . The slope of the curve
provides an alternative formulation of the Poisson’s ratio νSL ; the primary strain
direction δS is indicated by the arrows.


5: Deployable sandwich panel based on the planar Miura pattern. The core and the face sheets share the same planar kinematics.4. and the combination is therefore deployable.1 Planar Kinematics Figure 4. whilst maintaining their in-plane kinematics. Figure 4.6: The individual Miura sheets [bottom] can be stacked. 53 . Multiple layers of the Miura sheets can be stacked to create a micro-structured material with highly anisotropic properties [top]. using an intermediate folded layer with modified geometry [middle].

b and γ describe the shape of the parallelogram. which meet at points of positive and negative Gaussian curvature (respectively where four acute. The angle 2α lies between the two edges of length a and the angle 2β lies between the two edges of length b. 58◦ are shown). 45. 30. The values a.2 Eggbox Sheet The Eggbox sheets consists of a repeated pattern of identical parallelograms. A unit cell is shown in Figure 4. 50.4. The unit cell geometry is described by the acute angle γ of the parallelograms. and their side lengths a and b.7.7: Geometric parameters of an Eggbox unit cell. β ≤ γ.1 Planar Kinematics z y H α β a b γ 2W 2B x Figure 4. the current configuration is given by the angle α at the apex.17) 54 . It holds that 0 ≤ α. and four obtuse angles of the parallelogram meet). The three angles are related as follows: cos α cos β = cos γ (4. 4. whereas the angle 0 ≤ α ≤ γ determines the current configuration of the unit cell (α=10.1.

The tangential Poisson’s ratio is now given as: εW = νW B = − εB W dB =− εw B dW (4. see Figure 4.24) Performing the derivation.9. the minimum fold energy and corresponding minimizing α can be found. The results for the Eggbox sheet with γ = 60◦ is shown in Figure 4. respectively along edges with length b and a.4.22) sin γ Poisson’s Ratio The instantaneous strain in W -direction can be described by δW 1 dW = δα W W dα and analogously for εB . and not of a or b. and there is therefore a neutral configuration which minimises the total strain energy.20) Another aspect of interest is the dihedral fold angles of the sheet. The dihedral fold angles ξ and ψ.19) B = b · sin β (4. alternatively it could be made by weaving the strips.18) W = a · sin α (4.1 Planar Kinematics The height H.23) (4. Now. 55 . The folds are modelled as simple torsion springs. for every configuration γ and r.25) Note that the expansion coefficient is only a function of α and γ. The total fold energy can then be written as  1 (4. Thus every Eggbox pattern has a default Poisson’s ratio. width W and depth B of the Eggbox unit cell are given by H = a · cos α + b · cos β (4. Neutral Configuration The paper models of the Eggbox sheet described in Chapter 3 are manufactured by glueing together two orthogonal sets of strips of parallelograms. This means the final Eggbox sheet will be prestressed.27) Ka r with r = a/b.8.26) U = · K aψ 2 + bξ 2 2 and subsequently rewritten in non-dimensional form as ˆ = 2U = ψ 2 + 1 ξ 2 U (4. are given by   sin α (4. As a result of this manufacturing process every facet has double paper thickness. and along every fold line one layer of paper is bent.21) ξ = π − 2 · arcsin sin γ   sin β ψ = π − 2 · arcsin (4. with torsional stiffness K per unit length. the following expression is obtained νW B = − cos2 γ tan2 α cos2 α − cos2 γ (4.

2 α=0° −0. the curve for γ = 60◦ is emboldened. 56 .5 4 Poisson’s ratio νWB [−] 3.4 α=45° −0.8 −0. The slope provides an alternative formulation of the sheet’s Poisson’s ratio.8 0.5 70˚ 1 75˚ 0. using (a) the true strain and (b) engineering strain.4 −0. α=γ=60° 1 0.8: Analysis of the in-plane properties of an Eggbox sheet with γ = 60◦ .4 εw [−] (b) relationship of engineering strain with respect to reference configuration of α = 45◦ .6 −εB [−] 0. Figure 4.2 0.5 60˚ 2 65˚ 1. The arrows indicate the primary strain direction δW .4 0.2 0 −1 −0.2 0.4.1 Planar Kinematics 5 4.5 0 0 10 20 30 α [deg] 40 50 60 (a) instantaneous Poisson’s ratio νW B for various values of γ.6 −0.5 3 45˚ 50˚ 55˚ 2.

the minimum energy confirms the observed default configuration of α = 45◦ (and therefore β = 45◦ ). 57 . with the black line indicating the least energy configurations for a given geometry of r = a/b = 1 and varying facet angle γ.9: The fold energy contours are plotted for Eggbox unit cells. where α > γ. the shaded area indicates an infeasible geometry. For the example Eggbox sheets which have r = 1 and γ = 60◦ .1 Planar Kinematics 90 80 70 γ [deg] 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 α [deg] 60 70 80 90 Figure 4.4.

and their interrelationship is described by the Von K´arm´an equations. Witten. and this will 58 .4. Timoshenko. and are usually only solved under simplifying assumptions (Mansfield. these will be outlined before describing the unit cell deformations of the Miura and Eggbox sheets. only bending). In general. Visual inspection of the deformed Eggbox and Miura sheets suggests that the facets bend along the minor axis.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics A crucial point of consideration for the out-of-plane kinematics of the folded textured sheets is that the quadrilateral facets of the unit cells do not remain planar during the global deformation. It is therefore the boundary conditions that determine the feasible deformed geometries. (2009) confirmed that straight fold lines in an origami pattern indeed remain (piecewise) straight after folding. but for large displacements the choice of triangulation determines the possible kinematics. the facets of the unit cell are initially planar and thus have zero Gaussian curvature. and consequently at any point on the deformed facet surface at least one straight line must extend to the boundary. under small-displacement and developability assumptions. the assumed global shapes are generally attained through a combination of bending of the facets and along the fold lines of the unit cells. For very thin shells. and the facets must thus remain piecewise planar and no cylindrical or conical deformations are possible. Developability Considerations At unit cell level the folded sheets can be regarded as thin-walled shells. joined along distinct fold lines. 1964. Under developable deformations this Gaussian curvature is preserved. For the Miura and Eggbox sheet.e. The orientation of the triangulation is irrelevant when only considering first-order displacements (either provides out-of-plane deformation of the facet). 1983). 1952). In fact. the bending behaviour dominates and in the asymptotic limit the deformations can be described as developable (i. see Figure 4. 2007). These are non-linear. 1989.. Demaine et al. Crucially. In the folded sheets the quadrilateral facets of the unit cells are bounded by straight fold lines. coupled fourth-order differential equations. A careful consideration of the deformation of the unit cells during the observed global deformation modes revealed a number of subtleties.10. developable deformations preserve the Gaussian curvature at every point on the surface (Hilbert & Cohn-Vossen.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics 4. the deformation of thin-walled shells is composed of bending and stretching components. Calladine. The deformation of thin shells has been extensively studied in the past (e.g. The assumed developable deformation behaviour at unit cell level therefore implies that the parallelogram facets of the Miura and Eggbox sheet bend along a new diagonal crease line.

it will bend around a new diagonal crease line. This behaviour was described by Lobkovsky et al.g. and it is these higher order vertices that provide the additional flexibility beyond the 1 DOF planar mode. (b) To first order approximation the orientation of the bending line is irrelevant. which introduces a slight negative curvature along the ridge.11). Seffen. the choice of the major [top] or minor [bottom] bending axis is of importance.. upon close inspection the facets of the deformed Miura and Eggbox sheets appear to have a subtle double curvature along the introduced bending line of the facet. which must bend to attain the global out-of-plane kinematics of the sheet. for large displacements and stiffness analysis. with 59 . be presumed throughout the kinematic modelling.4. Norman. When the bending deformation of the parallelogram facets is developable. several small deviations from the described developable deformations can be observed. As a result of the additional fold lines the number of folds meeting at the vertices will increase. Firstly.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics δ O(δ2) δ O(δ2) (a) (b) Figure 4. Although the exact shape of the deformed configuration was not explicity derived. However. Observed Deviations When studying the deformation of the example folded textured sheets and similar hierarchical shell structures with developable surfaces joined at distinct fold lines (e. (1995) for a ‘kite’ deformation (see Figure 4.10: (a) the Eggbox and Miura unit cells are composed of parallelogram facets. When assuming the boundary conditions (the bounding fold lines) do not change. the Gauss-Bonnet theorem further implies that the deformed sheet contains areas of positive curvature. 2009. 2011). a simplified calculation showed that the sagging along the ridge line minimises the combined bending and stretching energy. as all other nodal displacements are of higher order.

despite their apparently straightforward geometry. the deformation of the unit cells must vary across the surface. 1961.28 shows that for shapes with a constant Gaussian curvature (e. but the effect is certainly of higher order than the vertex displacements due to the bending deformations.11: For thin sheets. see Figure 4. by Calladine (1983): K= ∂ 2 γxy ∂ 2 y ∂ 2 x − − ∂x∂y ∂x2 ∂y 2 (4. Equation 4. for small displacements from a flat configuration.4.28) More generally these relations can be expressed in terms of curvilinear coordinates to enable the description of the deformation of non-planar surfaces.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics d R Figure 4. One example of a folded sheet which challenges this assumption is the folded hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar). Secondly.g. the bending deformation of the facets will not exactly conform to pure developability.12. see Figure 4. This ‘kite’ deformation illustrates the doublecurvature introduced due to sagging along the ridge. the strain would have to grow quadratically with the distance from the centrepoint. 60 . where the fold lines appear to twist (Seffen. This means that for the observed global deformation modes of the Miura and Eggbox sheets. When the boundary conditions are more flexible. 2011). yet inspection of folded models of the hypar reveals indistinct bending of the facets. Crucially.13. Witten. figure after Witten (2007). the integral summing to zero (Struik. as observed in the Eggbox and Miura models. the ridge line may possibly shorten. The subtleties of this near-developable behaviour are currently not yet fully understood. an important consideration is whether straight fold lines truly remain straight in the deformed configurations. (2009) proved that a straightforward triangulation of the pattern would make the pattern foldable. a sphere). Large-Displacement Considerations The relationship between in-plane strain and change in Gaussian curvature is given. 2007). Demaine et al. and rather prominent twisting of the facets and associated helical deformation of the fold lines.

2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics Figure 4. the deformation of the Eggbox unit cell will have to vary across the spherical surface. and corresponding helical deformation of the fold lines. and some stretching of the material is required. Figure 4. This is here graphically illustrated by drawing geodesics (great arcs) on the spherical surface.4. As the unit cells tessellate along the highlighted slices. The facet deformation is therefore not purely developable. they must contract transversely (and thereby expand longitudinally) in-plane.13: When a flat disc is deformed into a shallow spherical shell. The induced in-plane strain thus requires that. which is quadratic with the distance from the centre.. the introduced constant positive Gaussian will induce an in-plane strain. modulo obvious symmetry considerations. 2009) shows clear twisting of the facets. 61 .12: The folded hyperbolic paraboloid (Demaine et al.

The nullspace of this combined compatibility matrix provides all deformations (i. in fact. The tessellation boundary conditions were prescribed by equating the (change in) angle between the facets on opposing sides of the unit cell. for details see Chapter 5. It is important to emphasise that the unit cell deformations described here are not exhaustive. For example.4. ad hoc boundary conditions were added. The Jacobian of the tessellation constraints was added to the compatibility matrix of the unit cell. many more unit cell configurations are observed. By then orthogonalising the original nullspace with respect to the symmetric deformation mode using a QR-decomposition (Strang. this provides a first-order approximation of the global deformation modes.e. 62 . In this manner the nature of the deformation modes could be studied. Any kinematic deformations will be a linear combination of the vectors in this nullspace. the anti-symmetric deformation modes could be separated. adding a symmetry condition would yield only symmetric deformation modes. In reality. In order to gain insight into this deformation space. change in angle of the fold lines and bending of facets) that satisfy both the bar length constraints (i.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics Nonetheless. 2006). The tessellation boundary conditions were naturally added to the mechanical description of the unit cell. to enable bending along their minor axis. Kinematic Analysis For the kinematic analysis. the local deformations can be translated to the next scale in the structural hierarchy (Seffen. 2011). no stretching) and the tessellation boundary conditions. the unit cells of the folded sheets are modelled as a pin-jointed truss with inextensional members. we aim to capture the global sheet geometry in terms of the kinematics of a single unit cell which can be tessellated. it is those deformations that enable the large displacement configurations with strain varying across the surface. The parallelogram facets are triangulated. The range of deformations was restricted by taking into account the tessellation boundary conditions. In effect.e. By capturing the unit cell deformation within bounding planes.

The tessellation boundary conditions are specified by equating the (change in) angles between the emboldened lines on opposing sides of the unit cell. however. This deformation mode is obtained by all facets bending equally.16. the zigzag folds adjust accordingly. 4. The nullspace of the compatibility matrix contained three independent deformation modes.15.1.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics Figure 4. and the fold lines adjusting accordingly. see Figure 4. symmetry in the yz-plane [right] helps impose additional boundary conditions. see Figure 4. Saddle By orthogonalising the subspace of symmetric deformation modes to the planar mode using a QR-decomposition. 63 . This saddle-shaped bending mode of the Miura sheet was previously described by Zakirov et al.2. whereby both facets bend into mountain or valley folds. and the bending of facts and folds lines will thus be coupled. the global saddle mode was found. This deformation mode is anti-symmetric in the yz-plane. were not elucidated. The linear combination that constrains the bending of the facets produces the planar mode described analytically in Section 4.1 Miura Sheet The Miura unit cell is shown in Figure 4. The coupling ratio ∆κyy /∆κxx is plotted in Figure 4. The fold lines introduced to enable bending of the facets create a degree-6 vertex at the centre of each unit cell. The actual deformations of the unit cell.14: An undeformed Miura unit cell.14.4. (2004). the deformation space reduced to two independent modes. Twisting The twisting mode was found by orthogonalising the deformation space to the planar and saddle deformation modes. which were separated into the following modes: Planar When imposing reflective symmetry in the yz-plane. with its bounding planes [left]. by mapping the unit cell to a hyperbolic surface.17. and the sawtooth folds remain unchanged.

and the existing folds either fold further (+) or unfold (-).15: Saddle deformation mode of the Miura sheet. each pair of bounding planes tilts towards or away from each other. but does not twist.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics (a) first-order saddle mode. As can be seen in the side views [right]. This produces an oppositely signed curvature for the two orthogonal axes. with (a) the unit cell with its bounding planes. - V + V - V - - + - + V + - + (b) facet and fold deformations of the saddle mode. The facets either bend into a mountain (M) or valley (V) fold.4. 64 . Figure 4. and (b) the constituent facet and fold deformations.

with S and L the dimensions of the undeformed unit cell.16: The ratio of principal curvatures ∆κyy /∆κxx for the saddle-shaped deformation mode of the Miura-ori can be calculated by finding the change in angle dϕxx and dϕyy of the bounding planes.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics dφyy dφxx /2 2L 2S (a) the curvature along the principal axes is given by ∆κxx = ∆κyy = dϕyy 2L dϕxx 2S and .5 −1 −1.5 −5 0 10 20 30 40 50 fold angle θ [deg] 60 70 80 90 (b) the coupling ratio ∆κyy /∆κxx plotted with respect to the fold angle θ. Figure 4. for a Miura sheet with γ = 60◦ .4. Plotting this coupling ratio with respect to the fold angle θ revealed the remarkable result of it being identical to the in-plane Poisson’s ratio shown in Figure 4. 65 . a/b = 1.5 −4 −4.3(b).5 ∆κyy /∆κxx −2 −2. 0 −0.5 −3 −3.

2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics (a) first-order twisting mode. 66 . Figure 4. and the existing folds either fold further (+).17: Twisting deformation mode of the Miura sheet. producing a pure twist deformation. = = - V + - M + = = + V M = = (b) facet and fold deformations of the twisting mode. and (b) the constituent facet and fold deformations.4. with (a) the unit cell with its bounding planes. each pair of bounding planes remains parallel (and therefore no bending is involved). but rotates with respect to each other. As can be seen in the side views [right]. The facets either bend into a mountain (M) or valley (V) fold. unfold (-) or remain unchanged (=).

4.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics

Figure 4.18: An undeformed Eggbox unit cell, with its bounding planes [left]. The
tessellation boundary conditions are specified by equating the (change in) angles
between the emboldened lines on opposing sides of the unit cell.


Eggbox Sheet

For the Eggbox sheet, the introduced facet bending lines create an alternating
array of degree-4 and degree-8 vertices. This means that bending of the facets
and opening/closing of the fold lines is decoupled. The nullspace of the compatibility matrix again contained three independent deformation modes, which were
separated into the following modes:
Planar The combination of tessellation boundary conditions and symmetry in
the yz-plane reduced the configuration space to two independent vectors; the
linear combination that constrained facet deformations provided the planar
mode. This is the only mode that involves bending of the fold lines.
Spherical Orthogonalising the symmetric deformation modes to the planar mechanism using a QR-decomposition, revealed the spherical deformation. Here
all facets deform equally, producing an equally oriented curvature along both
principal axes; see Figure 4.19. The ratio of principal curvatures ∆κyy /∆κxx
for a range of unit cell configurations is plotted in Figure 4.20. Seffen (2011)
describes the spherical deformation mode of the Eggbox sheet in terms of
the deformations of its constituent unit cells. There it is suggested that the
assumed unit cell deformations require in-plane deformations of the facets,
in contrast to the results in this thesis.
Twisting The facets deformations of the twisting mode are anti-symmetric in
both the xz- and the yz-plane, and therefore alternatingly form mountain
and valley folds; see Figure 4.21.
Cylindrical A linear combination of the spherical and twisting mode, which fixes
the bending of one diagonally opposing pair of facets, provides the cylindrical
mode; see Figure 4.22.


4.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics

(a) first-order spherical mode. Both pairs of bounding planes tilt either away or towards each
other, and thereby produce an equally signed curvature along both principal axes.












(b) facet and fold deformations of the spherical mode. All facets bend into a mountain (M) fold,
and the existing folds remain unchanged (=).

Figure 4.19: Spherical deformation mode of Eggbox sheet, with (a) the unit cell
with its bounding planes, and (b) the constituent facet deformations.


4.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics


∆κ yy /∆κ xx






α [deg]




Figure 4.20: Plotting the coupling ratio ∆κyy /∆κxx of the Eggbox sheet (γ = 60◦ ,
a/b=1) with respect to the configuration angle α revealed the same relationship
as for the in-plane Poisson’s ratio shown in Figure 4.8.


and (b) the constituent facet deformations. they rotate with respect to each other. and the existing folds remain unchanged (=). The facets alternatingly bend into a mountain (M) or valley (V) fold. the bounding pairs remain parallel (and therefore no bending is involved). producing a pure twist deformation.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics (a) first-order twisting mode.4. = = M = = = = V = V = = = M = = (b) facet and fold deformations of the twisting mode.21: Twisting deformation mode of Eggbox sheet. 70 . but as seen in the side views [bottom]. with (a) the unit cell with its bounding planes. Figure 4. As can be seen in the plan view [top-right].

Figure 4.4.2 Out-of-Plane Kinematics (a) first-order cylindrical mode. with (a) the unit cell. whereby one pair of facets does not bend. = = = = = = = V = V = = = = = = (b) facet and fold deformations of the twisting mode.22: Cylindrical deformation mode of Eggbox sheet. and the other facets and folds remain unchanged (=). it can be seen that there is curvature along one axis and none along the other. Two facets bend into a valley (V) fold. thereby producing a global cylindrical mode. 71 . and (b) its constituent facet deformations. The cylindrical mode is constructed by a linear combination of the twist and spherical mode. When viewing the unit cell at 45◦ to the reference axes [right].

the induced change in Gaussian curvature necessitates in-plane strain.3 Conclusion & Discussion The kinematic analysis of the example folded shell structures highlights the hierarchy of their deformation mechanics. These global deformation modes were described to first-order in terms of their unit cell kinematics. whereas the second freely expands. the unit cells deform differently throughout the sheet. The feasible global deformation modes of the folded shell structures are prescribed by the deformations of their unit cells. whereas any out-of-plane deformation mode generally requires a combination of facet and fold bending. Planar Deformation The planar kinematics of the Eggbox and Miura sheet were described algebraically. Constraining the bending of the unit cell facets produces a single planar mechanism. The modes described here are limited to first-order. which in turn rely on the constrained deformation of their constituent facets. the observed global deformation modes were successfully described in terms of the unit cells. It is important to note that for large global bending deformations. A remaining challenge is to find the Poisson’s ratio at any angle to the selected axes. It was shown that the globally doubly-curved configurations can be attained through purely developable deformations at the material level of the sheets. Therefore.3 Conclusion & Discussion 4. Out-of-Plane Deformation An important feature of the folded shell structures is their ability to easily change their global Gaussian curvature. and their in-plane Poisson’s ratios were found. The counterintuitive oppositely signed Poisson’s ratio for bending and stretching directly followed from the unit cell deformations. this cannot be described within a purely kinematic analysis.4. This is illustrated by comparing the Eggbox and Miura sheets under in-plane loading at 45◦ to the chosen axes: the first is inextensible. and requires strain energy considerations. For both the Eggbox and Miura sheet. Understanding the kinematics of the unit cells therefore provides insight into the global sheet geometries that can be attained. even for seemingly simple globally doubly-curved configurations. by prescribing tessellation boundary conditions. for the unit cell geometries studied. Intriguingly. 72 . the out-ofplane coupling ratio ∆κyy /∆κxx is equal and opposite to the in-plane Poisson’s ratio νyx . due to the repetitive boundary conditions. and the developable deformation of its facets.

2009c. Furthermore. the out-of-plane kinematics of the sheets involve bending of the facets. and for the stiffness analysis the fold lines are given an additional bending stiffness. the Resch pattern. as discussed in Section 4. In our analysis we are not interested in the details of the stress distributions (Tanizawa & Miura. In their finite element formulation. 2004). and has the benefit of an established and rich background literature. and every fold line by a bar element. An underlying assumption of the mechanical model is that straight fold lines remain straight in their folded (and deformed) state. Our approach is based on modelling the partially folded state of a folded pattern as a pin-jointed truss framework. so straightforward rigid origami modelling of the fold pattern is insufficient (Tachi. the facets are triangulated to avoid internal mechanisms (in effect. To gain insight into their mechanical behaviour.1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework The salient behaviour of the folded sheets straddles kinematics and stiffness: there are dominant mechanisms. but rather the effect of the introduced geometry on the global properties of the sheet.2. it has not been fully introduced into the origami literature. a suitable modelling method therefore needs to cover this behaviour. in-plane strain). Balkcom. each facet is represented as a triangular plane stress element. but they have a non-zero stiffness. was described by Resch & Christiansen (1971). A similar methodology for calculating the kinematics and elastic properties of a developable triangulated folded plate system. Each vertex in the folded sheet is represented by a pin-joint. Although the use of a pin-jointed bar framework to represent origami folding has been hinted at on several occasions (Tachi. 2009c.1. as well as provide a first-order approximation to bending of the facets — see Figure 5. Balkcom. In reality some twisting and other deformations of the fold lines can be observed in folded structures. Additionally. In 73 . 2004). 1975). but the approximation suffices for our analysis. The method provides useful insights into the mechanical properties of a folded textured sheet.Chapter 5 Numerical Analysis 5.

1 Governing Equations The analysis of pin-jointed frameworks is well-established in structural mechanics. which relates the internal bar tensions t to the applied nodal forces f .1. 2006). higher-order compatibility equations may shed further light on finite mechanisms (Kumar & Pellegrino. in our analysis the facets are considered to be thin-walled shells.5.2 Kinematics: Compatibility The linear-elastic behaviour of the truss framework can now be described by analysing the vector subspaces of the equilibrium and compatiblity matrices (Pellegrino & Calladine. Its mechanical properties can be described by three linearised matrix equations: equilibrium. 1986). Lastly.e. 2000). At = f (5. the direction of triangulation of the facets is not relevant.1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework combination with the assumption of developability. 2006). or a full tangent stiffness matrix can be formulated to take into account any geometric stiffness resulting from reorientation of the members (Guest. the triangulation in our analysis is chosen to represent the softest deformation mode. For first-order approximation of the out-of-plane displacements of the nodes. 5. the static-kinematic duality. 5. with the thickness of the sheet material an order of magnitude smaller than the dimensions of the sheets’ unit cells.1) Cd = e (5. Cd = 0. It can be shown through a straightforward virtual work argument that C = AT . These mechanisms may either be finite or infinitesimal. Of main interest in our case is the nullspace of the compatibility matrix. In the case of the folded textured sheets. i. First-order infinitesimal mechanisms can be stabilised by states of self-stress. as it provides nodal displacements that — to first order — have no bar elongations: internal mechanisms.1). the deformation of the facets will be piecewise planar and therefore the triangulation approximation is a valid one.3) where A is the equilibrium matrix. the nullspace of the conventional compatibility matrix does not provide much useful information: the facets can easily 74 . the shortest fold line (see Figure 5. compatibility and material properties (Guest.1.2) Ge = t (5. but in general the information from the nullspace analysis alone does not suffice to establish the difference. the compatibility matrix C relates the nodal displacements d to the bar extensions e and the material equation introduces the axial bar stiffnesses along the diagonal of G.

4) as described in Figure 5. The solution is to introduce additional contraints.2. Tachi. Using vector analysis.1–5.5) The Jacobian of additional constraints J can now be concatenated with the existing compatibility matrix " # " # C e d= (5. . however. the angle between two facets can be described in terms of cross and inner products of the nodal coordinates p of the two facets. The Jacobian then becomes 1 X ∂F J= dpi = dρ cos (ρ) ∂pi (5. (5. One interpretation of the compatibility matrix is to consider it as the Jacobian of the bar length constraints.3.3 Stiffness: Material Stiffness A kinematic analysis of a framework.3 can be combined into a single equation. 5. see Figure 5.1. . F = sin (ρ) = sin (ρ (p)) = . even with additional constraints.6) J dρ and the nullspace of this set of equations produces the nodal displacements d that do not extend the bars. In effect. In order to track the motion of the folded sheet.5. Our interest.7) K = AGC = CT GC (5. 2009c). with respect to the nodal coordinates. can clearly only provide so much information. 2006. as well as not violate the angular constraints. relating external applied forces f to nodal displacements d by means of the material stiffness matrix K.1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework ‘bend’ due to the triangulating fold lines. one iteratively follows the infinitesimal mechanisms whilst correcting for the errors using the Moore-Penrose pseudo-inverse (Strang. and it is the mechanism a rigid origami simulator would find. In this mechanism the facets neither stretch nor bend. Kd = f (5. This parallel can be used to introduce additional equality constraints to the bar framework. remains with the first-order infinitesimal displacements. The next step is to move from a purely kinematic to a stiffness formulation. the kinematic analysis provides a single degree of freedom planar mechanism that was previously described analytically in Chapter 4. which is reflected by an equivalent number of internal mechanisms. The angular constraint F is set up in terms of the dihedral fold angle ρ between two facets. we have formulated a rigid origami simulator — no bending or stretching of the facets is allowed. In our case we add a constraint on the dihedral angle between two adjoining facets. Equations 5. In the case of the two example textured sheets.8) 75 .

1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework Kfold Kfacet Figure 5.2: The dihedral fold angle ρ can be expressed in terms of the nodal coordinates of the two adjoining facets. to avoid trivial mechanisms and provide a first-order approximation for the bending of the facets. illustrating the pin-jointed bar framework model used to model the folded textured sheets. and β the angle between a and c. Here γ is the angle between a and b. b and c. Using the vectors a. Kfacet and Kfold respectively. the following 1 expression holds: sin (ρ) = sin(γ)1sin(β) |a|3 |b||c| (a × (c × a)) · (a × b).1: Unit cell of the Eggbox sheet. 76 .5. Bending stiffness has been added to the facets and fold lines. The facets have been triangulated. 3 π−ρ 1 b 2 a 4 c Figure 5.

as well as the bending stiffness of the facets and along the fold lines. As a result. either a physical stiffness value can be attributed in GJ or a ‘weighted stiffness’ indicating the relative importance of the constraint..9) Depending on the constraint and the resulting error that its Jacobian constitutes. The reference configuration is indicated as dashed lines.3: The Eggbox (a) and Miura (b) sheet both exhibit a single planar mechanism when the facets are not allowed to bend.e.5.1. Of main interest are the deformation modes that involve no bar elongations (i. Plotting the mode shapes for the lowest eigenvalues of the material stiffness matrix K provides insight into the deformation kinematics of the sheets. In our analysis only first-order infinitesimal modes within K are considered. " K= C J #T " G 0 0 GJ #" C J # (5. A more rigorous substantiation for the ability to extend the tangent stiffness matrix of trusses with additional constraints is provided by Kovacs (2011).1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework (a) (b) Figure 5. In our case. we obtain a material stiffness matrix that incorporates the stiffness of the bars. These modes are numerically separated by choosing the axial members stiffness of the bars to be several orders of magnitude larger (say. the error is the change in the dihedral angle between adjacent facets. using the variational approach to mechanics (Lanczos. no stretching of the material). 106 ) than the bending stiffness for the facets and folds. In fact this approach can straightforwardly be extended to other sets of constraints by extending the compatibility matrix. but only bending of the facets and along fold lines. In effect. 77 . we introduce a bending stiffness along the fold line (Kfold ) and across the facets (Kfacet ) — see Figure 5. 1986).

5.4.10) where T is here identical to the Jacobian in Equation 5. the unit cell deformations vary across the sheet. Coordinate Transformation Currently all properties of the folded sheet are expressed in terms of the displacements of the nodal coordinates. They are here briefly described. and the sawtooth folds remaining effectively unchanged. The change in fold angles is more convenient when studying the underlying unit cell kinematics. the sawtooth and zigzag folds is plotted. which maintains both the length and planarity constraints. The change in fold angle dρi of respectively the facets. A 78 .4 Extensions to Framework Analysis Further extensions to the bar framework approach provide additional tools to obtain insight into the sheets’ kinematics. 5. As expected. a respective opening and closing of the zigzag folds. is the global twisting mode. A transformation matrix T converts nodal displacements d to changes in angle dρ: dρ = Td (5.5. but a trend is visible.4: The softest eigenmode of a Miura sheet with 9 × 9 unit cells. The global twisting mode maps to the following unit cell deformations: two convex and two concave facets. The central unit cell is plotted in its deformed configuration.1 Mechanical Model: Bar Framework 6 4 dρi 2 0 −2 −4 −6 Facets Sawtooth ZigZag Figure 5.1. see Figure 5. the presented model can also be used to calculate the folding motion of the sheet. Folding Kinematics For rigidly foldable patterns. by following the nullspace of its Jacobian J. with its change in fold angles highlighted.

2 Modal Analysis first displacement step d0 can be projected onto the constraint space using the Moore-Penrose pseudo-inverse of the Jacobian.12) with the error vector r derived from the original constraint functions F (p) = r. To solve the large-displacement. which has a minimal coordinate representation with fewer explicit constraints and therefore the ability to calculate the pseudo-inverse without full SVD decomposition.5. This is a dimensionless parameter that represents the material prop- 79 . r = a/b = 1). indicated with J+ : d1 = [I − J+ J]d0 (5. or. as a compromise between large (infinite) sheets. the deformations are found using a numerical integration scheme in combination with a Newton-Raphson iteration to correct for errors. In effect this produces a rigid origami simulator. that the model used in this chapter purposely provides a significant simplification of the actual deformation mechanics of the sheets. Large Displacements In the modal analysis. whilst keeping the geometric parameters of the unit cells constant (γ = 60◦ .10). however. small-strain behaviour of the sheets. 5. we did not wish to impose a priori repetitive boundary conditions. the resulting eigenvalue loci plots are effectively two-dimenstional slices across a multi-dimensional parameter space (see Figure 5. For the calculations a 4 × 4 grid of unit cells was used.9 and 5. It must be noted. Stiffness Ratio An important parameter in the folded textured sheets turns out to be Kratio = Kfacet /Kfold . After each step.11) As the deformation continues.2 Modal Analysis In the modal analysis of the Eggbox and Miura sheets. the error is reduced by means of the Newton-Raphson iteration (Press et al. 2007): di+1 = −J+ r (5. equivalently the row vector with smallest singular value. and a single unit cell. For detailed analysis of the fold lines and facet bending. In this analysis we have focused on the stiffness ratio and the sheet configuration. only first-order infinitesimal mechanisms are considered. future steps will be selected from the nullspace of J. although one less computationally efficient than presented by Tachi (2009c).. the eigenvalues can be plotted with respect to any combination of the parameters that define the sheets’ geometry and configuration. a finely meshed finite element analysis is required. is the compliance of the sheet in some of its deformation modes. Of interest in practical applications.

with respect to the sheets’ in-plane deformation. the stiffness of the twisting and saddle modes are not directly proportional to either Kfacet or Kfold over a long range of the Kratio . Due to the sheet’s symmetry. For the Miura sheet. this indicates that the dominant behaviour primarily depends on the geometry. the saddle and twisting mode remain dominant up to a certain fold depth. However. the cylindrical modes appear to be a higher mode (cf. At first glance. buckling modes). on the other hand. fold line along the diagonal of the Eggbox sheet. this seemingly ‘higher’ mode therefore actually minimises its stiffness. after which a planar ‘squeezing’ mode takes over. which is the case for workhardened metals or situations where separate panels are joined together. As Kratio → ∞ those modes. the spherical. Figure 5.8 show the normalised eigenvalues of the Miura and Eggbox sheets with respect to their respective configuration parameter θ and α.5. Note that for the Eggbox sheet. In effect these plots show the change of the softest out-ofplane deformation modes. whereas the twisting mode becomes stiffer for low values of α and β. the spheroidal mode remains dominant over the entire range of geometry. 80 .2 Modal Analysis erties of the sheet.5 and 5. For the Miura sheet. for example by means of welding or architectural fittings. It can be seen that for both sheets the salient kinematics (the softest eigenmodes) remain dominant over a large range of the stiffness ratio. and when Kratio < 1 the fold lines are stiffer than the panels. For the Eggbox sheet. rather than the exact material properties. change to become approximately proportional to Kfacet . values of Kratio ≈ 1 reflect folded sheets manufactured from sheet materials such as metal. is proportional to Kfold as the facets do not bend. and therefore stiffest. however. at a fixed Kratio = 2. plastic and paper. and are therefore a combination of facet and fold bending. When Kratio → ∞ we approach a situation where rigid panels are connected by frictionless hinges. at α = 45◦ the eigenvalue loci of the two cylindrical modes cross. twisting and cylindrical modes observed in the paper models (see Chapter 3) have a slope of approximately one on the log-log plot. the eigenvalues are thus proportional to the Kfacet and no bending of the folds takes place. in this configuration there is a line of inflection along the longest. The stiffness of the planar mode. Sheet Configuration Figure 5.6 show a log-log plot of the eigenvalues versus the stiffness ratio Kfacet /Kfold .7 and 5.

01 0.2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of eigenmode / Kfold 100 10 1 0.5: This figure shows the relative stiffness of the six softest eigenmodes of the Miura sheet.5. 01 0. with γ = 60◦ . 81 . 1 1 10 Kfacet/Kfold 100 saddle twisting planar Figure 5. 1 0. a/b = 1 and initial configuration θ = 55◦ . The twisting deformation mode remains the softest eigenmode over a large range of Kratio . while the saddle-shaped mode is also dominant. As Kratio → ∞ the planar mechanism identified in the kinematic analysis becomes the softest eigenmode.

The spherical and cylindrical deformation modes observed in the models are also dominant.2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold 100 10 1 0. 82 .5.1 0.01 0.6: Here is plotted the relative stiffness of the nine softest eigenmodes of the Eggbox sheet. a/b = 1 and α = 45◦ .01 1 Kfacet/Kfold 10 100 cylindrical (2x) spherical planar twisting Figure 5.1 0. this corresponds with the result from the kinematic analysis. It can be seen that the twisting deformation mode remains the softest eigenmode over a large range of Kratio . As Kratio → ∞ the planar mechanism becomes the softest eigenmode. with γ = 60◦ .

7: The relative stiffness of the six softest eigenmodes of a Miura sheet are plotted with respect to the initial fold angle θ. 01 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Fold Angle θ [deg] saddle squeeze twisting Figure 5.2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of eigenmode / Kfold 10 1 0.5. 83 . for γ = 60◦ . a/b = 1 and Kratio = 2.1 0. but eventually a planar ‘squeezing’ mode assumes the lowest modal stiffness. The twisting and saddle deformation mode remain dominant over a large range of the fold angle.

as the geometry and the eigenmodes are rotated by 90◦ .2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of eigenmode / Kfold 10 Fold Angle β [deg] 60 59 58 0 10 20 55 49 45 39 0 30 40 45 50 60 1 0.8: The nine softest eigenmodes of the Eggbox sheet are here plotted.1 0.5. 84 . versus its unit cell geometry parameter α. 01 Fold Angle α [deg] spheroidal cylindrical (2x) twisting Figure 5. for γ = 60◦ . a/b = 1 and Kratio = 2. Note that the plot is ‘symmetric’ with respect to α = 45◦ .

01 0 10 20 1 40 Fold Angle θ [deg] Kratio 0. 85 .1 60 80 0. showing the 6 softest eigenmodes with respect to the initial folded configuration θ and stiffness ratio Kratio = Kfacet /Kfold .1 100 0.01 (a) Stiffness of Eigenmode / K fold 100 10 1 0.2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of Eigenmode / K fold 100 10 1 0. A slice can be made across the surface.1 60 80 0.01 0 10 20 1 40 Fold Angle θ [deg] Kratio 0.1 100 0.01 (b) Figure 5.9: Eigenvalue surface of Miura sheet (a). for example as shown in (b) at Kratio = 2.5.

5.1 100 0.1 40 60 0.2 Modal Analysis Stiffness of Eigenmode / K fold 100 10 1 0. for example as shown in (b) at α = 45◦ .10: Eigenvalue surface of the Eggbox sheet (a).1 0.01 (a) Stiffness of Eigenmode / K fold 100 10 1 0.01 (b) Figure 5.01 −3 10 100 −4 10 10 0 1 20 Fold Angle α [deg] Kratio 0. 86 . A slice can be made across the surface.1 40 60 0. showing its 9 softest eigenmodes with respect to its configuration α and stiffness ratio Kratio = Kfacet /Kfold .01 0 10 1 20 Fold Angle α [deg] Kratio 0.

and the j-th column of the eigenvectors U are linearly dependent and that the eigenvector therefore lies in that specific symmetry subgroup. 5. This is nicely demonstrated in FigT ure 5. A1 A2 Components in Symmetry Subspace 50 B1 100 B2 150 E11 200 E22 0 5 10 15 Selected Eigenmode 20 25 Figure 5. B2 .2 Curve Veering & Imperfections During the analysis of the eigenvalues and eigenmodes of the stiffness matrix. each eigenmode belongs to a specific symmetry subgroup. which shows the sparsity pattern of the matrix Vsym U where U contains all selected eigenmodes as column vectors. This is effectively a coordinate transformation. Using standardized symmetry tables.. A dot on position {i. which means that each eigenmode found in the stiffness matrix resides in a specific symmetry subgroup.1 Symmetry Analysis The symmetry of the Eggbox structure enables us to perform a symmetry analysis (Kangwai et al. which has 6 symmetry subgroups: A1 .2. As can be seen. B1 .2. the curve veering phenomenon was encountered: at a point where two eigenvalue 87 .11. 1999). a symmetry adapted coordinate system Vsym can be set up for the structure. A2 .2 Modal Analysis 5. j} indicates that the i-th column of the symmetry space Vsym .11: The sparsity pattern shows in which subspace of the C4v symmetry group each eigenmode of the Eggbox sheet has a component. and the two-dimensional group E. which spans the same coordinate space but is subdivided into the various symmetry groups.5. The sheet belongs to the C4v symmetry group.

Afolabi & Mehmed (1994) cite both mathematical (based on catastrophe theory) and engineering reasons why curve crossings will very seldom be encountered. in general. whereas for strong coupling. A weak coupling results in very abrupt veerings with high changes in curvature of the locus. 2003). in this case the modal rotation is given by arccos of the inner product of the normalised eigenvectors. The rotation is not necessarily over 90◦ since the modes may change shape as the system parameter varies.5. curve crossings occur relatively frequently as a result of the symmetry of the sheets. this represents a situation where the system’s eigenvalues are mathematically degenerate. Eigenvalue coalesence is encountered in practical problems. In the case of the folded textured sheets the eigenvectors will be orthogonal in the physical coordinate system due to the implied unity mass matrix. As shown by Perkins & Mote (1986). 2) multi-dimensional substructures for which motions in different dimensions uncouple. 88 .12. (2009) it is important to recognize the presence of curve veering in numerical models. In the case of zero modal coupling the curves are free to cross. Balm`es (1993) identifies only three types of conservative structures as allowing truly multiple modes: 1) symmetric structures with multiple modes within a symmetry group. and modal parameter extraction. may well have been introduced by simplifications whereby modal coupling is ignored. For non-self-adjoint eigenproblems — for example in non-conservative dynamic problems — one may also find cases of eigenvalue coalescence (implying eigenvector degeneracy) and ‘veering with’ in the eigenvalue curves (Perkins & Mote. they instead approach closely and then abruptly ‘veer away’. the introduction of geometric imperfections to the folded sheets will break their symmetry and will therefore increase the number of curve veerings. such as plates having a bending and a torsional mode at the same frequency. In the veering region the mode shapes undergo rapid (but continuous) changes. see Figure 5. and take it into account for methodologies such as system identification. They also suggest the use of the Modal Assurance Criterion (MAC) as a quantative measure of mode shape transformations (Allemang. and the system is therefore highly sensitive to the system parameter. and 3) structures with fully uncoupled substructures. curve veering is linked to a coupling between the eigenmodes. for example when studying the flutter of rotating blades and brake squeal.2 Modal Analysis loci appear to cross. the modes are often sufficiently spaced apart to make the veering difficult to spot. Curve veering is observed in a wide range of fields where eigenvalue problems exist. Therefore. curve veering is far more likely to occur than curve crossing. and when observed in theoretical studies. 1986). Rotation of Eigenvectors As emphasized by du Bois et al. In the case of the folded sheets. each taking the path and mode shape of the other.

Within the veering region the eigenmodes rapidly. as well as the rotation of the eigenvectors with respect to the stiffest eigenvector at Kratio = 8. 89 .12: For the Miura sheet with γ = 60◦ .1 8 9 10 11 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 12 13 14 15 Rotation [deg] 90 45 0 Kratio Figure 5. and θ = 55◦ the second and third eigenmodes veer at Kratio ≈ 11. the rotation does not fully reach 90◦ as the mode shapes change slightly with respect to the system parameter.5. but continuously. rotate and eventually assume each other’s shape.3 10 0. The figure shows the eigenvalues and eigenmodes of the two eigenmodes.Eigenvalue 5.2 Modal Analysis 10 0. a/b=1.

Importantly. The results of the imperfection analysis are shown in Figure 5. which are shown to be two manifestations of the same phenomenon. because the eigenvalue curves will differ for every randomly perturbed configuration. The effect of geometric imperfections on the eigenvalue loci of the Eggbox and Miura sheet was investigated. the planar mode emerges as softest mode at a higher value of Kratio compared to the unperturbed configuration. at a given configuration. the graphs of each of the sheets are all created using the same random draw from a normal distribution. as expected.14. the curve crossings are replaced by curve veerings due to the break in symmetry and introduction of coupling between modes. as the imperfections must now be overcome. and especially for lower values of Kratio the mode shapes remain very similar. The eigenvalue curves produced in this section are merely intended as indicative of general trends.2 Modal Analysis Geometric Imperfections Pierre (1988) showed that imperfections in repetitive systems may introduce curve veering and mode localizations. z coordinates were randomly perturbed. but for the imperfect configurations the stiffness of the planar mode is no longer proportional to Kfold as it now also involves bending of facets as well as the folds. y. To enable comparison. 90 . What is more. but with a different standard deviation. for both sheets the salient behaviour does not change materially as a result of the imperfections.13 and 5. the nodal x.5. For both sheets a ‘planar’ mode will dominate as Kratio → ∞. with a standard deviation σ specified as a percentage of the bar length.

91 .10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold 5. Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold (a) no imperfections. but with differing standard deviation σ. 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 (d) σ = 10% of bar length. The sheet is at θ = 55◦ .2 Modal Analysis −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 10 2 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 10 2 10 2 (b) σ = 2. and the x. σ = 0. Figure 5. on its eigenvalue loci.5% of bar length. 10 10 2 (c) σ = 5% of bar length. z coordinates are perturbed with the same normal distribution. y.13: Effect of geometric imperfections in Miura sheet.

Figure 5. but with differing standard deviation σ.10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold 5.5% of bar length. z coordinates are perturbed with the same normal distribution. Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold Stiffness of eigenmode / K fold (a) no imperfections. 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 (d) σ = 10% of bar length.14: Effect of geometric imperfections in Eggbox sheet. The sheet is at α = 45◦ . σ = 0. y. 92 . and the x. 10 10 2 (c) σ = 5% of bar length. on its eigenvalue loci.2 Modal Analysis −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 10 2 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 −1 10 −2 10 −2 10 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 −1 0 10 Kratio 10 1 10 2 10 2 (b) σ = 2.

but for larger displacements the assumed kinematics may no longer be valid.3 Conclusions 5. which represents the partly folded patterns as pin-jointed bar frameworks with additional planarity constraints. or of equivalent stiffness. eigenmodes of the stiffness matrix. successfully captures the key mechanical behaviour observed in Chapter 3.5. The counterintuitive out-of-plane modes were are among the softest. Bending of the facets was modelled by straightforward triangulation of the quadrilaterals. This result supports observations by Norman (2009) regarding the behaviour of continuously doubly-corrugated sheets.3 Conclusions The simple mechanical model presented in this chapter. The analysis was purposely limited to non-extensible. 93 . Furthermore. both cases may be of interest in the design of morphing structures. and therefore most dominant. The modal analysis further enables the selection of unit cell configurations where certain modes are dominant over others. The dominant kinematics were also shown to be primarily a result of the geometry. analysis of the curve veering behaviour of the eigenvalue loci revealed the relative insensivity of the dominant eigenmodes with respect to geometric imperfections. for first-order analysis the direction of triangulation is not relevant. rather than the sheets’ material properties (represented by Kratio ). and therefore developable. deformations of the folded sheets.

Chapter 6

Manufacture of Folded Sheets


Using conventional forming methods such as stamping for folded sheets would lead
to thinning and possibly fracture of the facets due to the pronounced folds. An important feature of sheets such as the Miura-ori is that they are developable and can
thus be folded from a flat sheet of material, without any stretching of the material
between the fold lines; they can therefore be formed using only low-energy bending operations. Many patterns are also rigidly foldable, and can be folded even
without any bending of the facets. However, the folded sheets also present unique
manufacturing challenges. As the fold lines do not extend across the sheet, there
is a strong coupling between the folds and many of the patterns can effectively
be described as 1 DOF mechanisms. This means it is difficult to simultaneously
have both folded and unfolded regions in the sheet material. Furthermore, during
the folding process the sheets significantly contract both longitudinally and transversely, while also expanding in thickness. Specialised forming techniques have
been developed to manufacture folded sheets continuously and reliably.
In recent years the development of manufacturing methods for folded sheets has
been spurred by a revived interest in folded sandwich panel cores for aerospace
applications. Geometric imperfections introduced during the manufacturing process were found to have a very significant detrimental effect on the load carrying
capacity of those folded cores, even within the linear-elastic range (Baranger et al.,
2011a). To enable accurate numerical simulations of the folded core material, the
folded sheet geometries are scanned after manufacture (Heimbs et al., 2010) or
simplified folding models are used to emulate the effect of imperfections in the
fold pattern (Baranger et al., 2011a). In essence, the geometric imperfections in
the folded sheets are currently modelled without any reference to the underlying
manufacturing method. Knowledge of the available manufacturing methods, the
associated material deformations and how they affect the accuracy of the folded
sheets, is therefore important for more widespread use of folded sheets in engineering applications.


6.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods

This chapter starts with a literature review of existing manufacturing methods
for folded sheets, followed by the description of a novel forming process using
gas pressure at room temperature that is particularly suited for rapid prototyping of different geometries. The required operating pressures are predicted using
analytical calculations, and these results are compared with manufacturing trials.


Review of Manufacturing Methods

In this review, we focus on manufacturing methods where the sheet material is only
(or substantially) subjected to bending operations, and material strains are minimal. This clearly excludes forming methods such as deep-drawing or conventional
vacuum forming operations. A range of specialized manufacturing techniques for
folded sheets has been developed, and a limited review was given by Khaliulin &
Batrakov (2005). Our aim is to consolidate the literature on manufacturing methods for folded sheets, provide a consistent classification of forming techniques and
identify the material deformations involved in the forming methods.

Classification Scheme
In this review we shall distinguish between synchronous processes, where the
folding takes place along all fold lines simultaneously, gradual folding processes,
whereby the folded sheet gradually transitions from a flat to its fully folded state,
and lastly, pre-gathering processes, which first form the sheet material into
singly corrugated sheets before creating the final double corrugation. Within these
categories, further refinements will be given with respect to the pattern orientation,
and whether it concerns a batch, cyclic or continuous forming process.

Fold Patterns
The material deformations not only depend on the choice of manufacturing process, but also on the desired fold pattern. As highlighted by Klett & Drechsler
(2010), the use of isometric and rigid origami patterns has the benefit of reducing deformation of the sheet material. However, even for rigidly foldable patterns
several undesirable deformations may take place during manufacturing of folded
sheets, in addition to bending along the intended fold lines. As will be shown,
facets of the fold pattern may bend, fold lines may move through the material,
or sign reversal of the fold lines can take place. By far the most studied folding
pattern is the Miura-ori, and it will be used as the example sheet throughout
the review. Most manufacturing techniques also extend to more general folding
patterns, but some make explicit use of the Miura pattern’s properties.


6.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods

(a) transverse pattern orientation.

(b) longitudinal pattern orientation.

Figure 6.1: The Miura pattern can be orientated with its corrugations extending
(a) transversely or (b) longitudinally to the direction of travel of the sheet material.
Miura - Pattern Orientation For many of the manufacturing processes the
orientation of the fold pattern with respect to the sheet material has a
strong influence on the forming operations and associated material deformation. We shall distinguish between whether the zigzag corrugations extend
transversely or longitudinally across the sheet material; see Figure 6.1.
Miura - Geometric Parameters The unit cell geometry of the Miura pattern
(see Section 4.1.1) not only affects the mechanical properties of the folded
sheet, but also its manufacturability. Important factors are the longitudinal
and lateral contraction ratios, respectively given by ix = 1 − sin ξ/sin γ
and iy = 1 − cos ψ, which prescribe the required amount of slip and/or
pre-gathering during the manufacturing process. The ratio V /L describes
the pattern’s deviation from a single corrugation, and may influence the
choice for a longitudinal or transverse pattern orientation. The only known
parametric study of the manufacturability of different Miura-ori geometries
is provided by Ichikawa (1995), and is limited to a specific manufacturing
Globally curved sheets can be obtained through straightforward modifications of the Miura pattern; given their application in sandwich panel cores,
it is important to consider the suitability of the manufacturing methods for
this purpose.


solving the problem of accurate alignment of the two matrices. as described by Akishev et al. using vacuum actuation of the folding process. see Section 4.e.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods 6. In another described embodiment a flat sheet is placed on either side of the motive structure and using the vacuum bag both sheets are folded simultaneously. it is suggested that additional forming forces can be applied by placing the forming structure between a press. To enable the motive structure to transfer the additional forces. see Figure 6.2. as well as provide a means of controlling the fold depth. (2002). The use of vacuum actuated transformable matrices was extended to globally transversely curved Miura sheets by Khaliulin et al. but here some slip between the sheet material and the die may take place. This is generally achieved by supporting the sheet during the folding process along the facets or (some of) the fold lines using a transformable die. or the moulding structure is removed entirely. The transformable matrix can be constructed either with or without a master sheet that is in continuous contact with the sheet material during folding. (2009). and then placed between two partly-folded motive structures. vertical strengthening strips are placed along the ridges. One proffered solution is to place the sheet material and moulding structures inside a separate vacuum bag. which makes use of a transformable matrix composed of hinged rigid panels. see Figure 6. whereby both the sheet material and the motive structure share the same kinematics. whose initial volume enables actuation using a vacuum bag.1. closely approximating the theoretical rigid folding process. the flat sheet material is sandwiched between two flattened master-sheets.3. The main challenge is to coordinate the simultaneous folding of all fold lines. The two opposing transformable matrices are supported via orthogonal guides. the moulding and motive structure are joined along their mating fold lines to form a combined forming structure. which ensures complete flattening of the master sheets. and a ‘motive structure’ which coordinates the folding motion of the sheet. Vacuum Actuation Gewiss (1968) describes a range of manufacturing methods.2. Alternatively. Khaliulin & Dvoeglazov (2001) describe a similar vacuum actuated manufacturing process.6. The forming method makes use of the property of the Miura sheet.2(b). In its basic embodiment. Alternatively. 97 . Accurate alignment of the moulding and motive structure on either side of the sheet material is an important issue. A distinction is made between a ‘moulding structure’ — i.1 Synchrononous Folding Processes In the synchronous folding methods folding takes places along all fold lines simultaneously. see Figure 6. which enable the biaxial contraction of the sheets during the folding process. As well as increasing the external pressure. one side may be replaced by a vacuum bag that presses the sheet against the matrix. which are loaded in compression. a master-sheet — that is in contact with the facets of the fold pattern.1.

optionally with increased external pressure. (b) the sheet material and forming structure are placed in a vacuum bag.6. comprising a ‘moulding structure’ that is in contact with the blank sheet material.2: Gewiss (1968) describes a series of embodiments for vacuum actuation of the folding mechanism. Figure 6. and a partially-folded ‘motive structure’ that coordinates the folding process and whose initial volume enables vacuum actuation.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) combined moulding and motive structure. the motive structures can be strengthened with undulating strips along the ridge lines. 98 . (c) when extra forming forces are applied by placing the forming structure between a press. before being folded as the two motive structures contract under vacuum. The sheet material is sandwiched between the two structures. joined at the mating fold lines.

or together with a master sheet that also makes contact along the facets (bottom). as well as guide and control the folding process.3: A batch manufacturing process using a pair of opposing transformable matrices.6. 1998. actuated using a vacuum bag (Khaliulin & Dvoeglazov.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) two orthogonal guides ensure alignment of the transformable matrices. Figure 6. 2001). (b) the sheet can either be placed directly between two transformable matrices (top). 99 .

100 . (2002) also provide a (incomplete) force analysis of the transformable matrix under vacuum actuation. 2009). but no relationship between the applied pressure and the rigidity of the sheet material was established.4: The blank is sucked onto the forming mandrel using an internal vacuum bag. Contact between the dies and the sheet material was shown to be initially along the entire length of the fold lines. fold combined patterns and add facilities for curing or other post-treatment procedures. No account of required forces or total forming energy was given. Shabalin et al. (2010) numerically simulated the folding process with a transformable matrix. followed by the folding process using vacuumisation of the bag surrounding the auxiliary dies (Akishev et al. An important feature of the vacuum actuated synchronous methods with transformable dies is the uniform application of the forming forces. and the minimal material deformation during the folding process. and studied the complex deformation of the sheet material at the vertices. This means that the folds and the area around the vertices are formed without any direct contact with the dies. Khaliulin et al. limitations on sheet material rigidity and the large number of manual steps involved. but gradually concentrated at points near the vertices.6.. 2005). Disadvantages include unsuitability for large sheets due to the costly increase in components. These processes are therefore generally recommended for small scale prototyping purposes (Khaliulin & Batrakov.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Figure 6. The batch methods also provide flexibility to create globally-curved panels. any significant strains will be limited to the areas around the vertices.

or by axially compressing the two opposing transformable matrices (Khaliulin & Desyatov. a myriad of collapsed states occur when the membrane’s collapse is guided by internal. stiff elastic film supported on a thick. 1991). The pre-creased thin membranes were modelled as freely-hinged triangular facets. symmetric interactions. Further work on self-folding origami membranes was performed by Pickett (2007). This is often used as a final calibration step in continuous manufacturing processes. Successive Stamping Although strictly speaking not a folding process. 2005b. but a small initial global curvature 101 . straight primary buckles are formed. Self-Assembly Self-assembly of fold patterns has been considered for MEMS devices. where the pattern will lock into place due to facet-to-facet contact (Kling. 1978). Akishev et al. The collapse was achieved through a Brownian dynamic simulation. and is suitable for relatively ductile materials. which is energetically inexpensive. Initially. where strain mismatches across the fold lines would enable the selfassembly of the folded sheet (Bassik et al. with a mild uniform biaxial compression. 2009). for example by means of a pantographic linkage (Paterson. which are energetically cheaper than the local extension or compression of the individual buckles. Another interesting approach to self-assembly is to utilize the fact the Miura-ori pattern emerges as a post-buckling solution for thin flat sheets (Tanizawa & Miura.. Mahadevan & Rica (2005) decribe how the biaxial compression of a thin. who described a method relying on geometry to force a controlled collapse by manipulating self-interactions and gentle external influences. 1975a. is minimized. Another general approach is to sufficiently bias the folds mechanically.6.. soft substrate yields into a Miura-ori pattern without any external guidance other than induced by the isotropic compressive strains due to the relative expansion and contraction of the film and substrate. the closer the folding process is approximated and the more the slip between material and mould.. 2007b). and subsequent stretching of the material.b). successive stamping has been successfully used to create metal sandwich panel cores. As the number of successive moulds is increased. The final configuration can further be controlled by introducing areas in the folded structures. 2007). before exerting a compressive force around the perimeter to fold the pattern to its desired depth (Khaliulin et al. 1999). non-linear deformations of these primary buckles through global compression lead to instabilities wherein the buckles collectively deform through soft modes. The process benefits from simplicity of equipment design.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Mechanical Actuation The synchronous folding process may also be actuated mechanically. The disparity between the energetics of bending and stretching a thin sheet favours the concentration of curvature. with limited pattern density (Miura.

Two sets of dies are arranged on either side of the sheet material. Another continuous gradual folding method features a looped master sheet which continuously folds and unfolds. for the Miura pattern this gradual transition can be achieved with only (minimal) bending and no stretching of the facets. An interesting parallel is the post-buckling pattern found in axially compressed thin-walled cylinders. each incrementally deepening the pattern to its final fold depth (Kling. Interestingly. 6. Zakirov et al. this process necessarily requires some deformation of the facets bounded by the fold lines. the Yoshimura pattern. 2002). 2007a). When the desired fold depth is reached.2. which is consistently inwardly oriented (Yoshimura. Thus the linear response of the system to an initial condition is enough to guide the entire future behaviour of the system.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods proved to be sufficient to guide the system to a unique pre-determined state. 2009). see Figure 6. The gradual folding can also be achieved in a continuous manner. 1999. and the master sheet is gradually unfolded ready for the next cycle. thereby shaping the sheet material (Paterson. Miura. by imposing a priori global curvatures. as well as the Miura-ori. primarily intended for heat exchanger surfaces. During each cycle. thereby gradually deepening and reducing its dimensions in-plane. Gewiss (1959) described a machine to fold a constructional sheet material from flat sheets of metal. the sheet material transitions continuously from a flat to its fully folded state.6. the sheet material is released.2 Gradual Folding Processes In gradual folding processes.5. This process effectively gives local control over the mechanical properties of the collapsed sheet. 1955. and the difficulty in tuning their relative rotational speeds..6. 102 . it is brought in contact with the master sheet (e. As many fold patterns are rigidly foldable with a single kinematic degree of freedom. both longitudinally and laterally.g. the sheet material is automatically fed through in preparation of the next cycle. using air pressure or bristle brush rollers) and is subsequently gradually deepened as the master sheet folds up. the individual dies of each set are arranged to move relative to each other. As the sheet material is fed through. for example by means of a series of patterned rollers. using a set of push-rods and linear guides. This was shown for the waterbomb tessellation used by Kuribayashi et al. As the dies are closed and the folds deepened. (2006). see Figure 6. A downside of this process is the costly manufacture of the complex rollers. the sets of dies are moved apart and are extended such that the dies are above the row formed in the previous cycle.

.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Figure 6. 103 . before adding a new row and deepening the existing folds.5: Gewiss (1959) describes a folding method using a gradually deepening set of dies. In each forming cycle the dies move apart.6: The advancing sheet material is pre-patterned before being pressed against a master sheet using a bristle belt. 2009). Figure 6. At this point the material is released and the master sheet unfolds to restart the cycle (Zakirov et al. and folded gradually to the desired depth.6.

and thus sharpen or emphasise.6. An important feature of this process is that the sheet material is not. or cause. the folding process is progressively continued. but 104 . or there are recesses corresponding to the protrusions of the other. which in recent years has been successfully used for the continuous production of (curved) folded cores for sandwich panels. with sheet material bending on the elastic back die. It is suggested this creasing process results in a groove relief of up to 20% of the required height. Either one roller is structured and the other of smooth. as well as local material stretching. Locally the procedure consists of complex shaping operations.7(a).2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Patterning and Gathering An important category within the gradual folding processes is the ‘patterning and gathering’ method. see Figure 6. or a mechanical arrangement that contacts the material pointwise or along the folds. the desired fold pattern is embossed onto the flat sheet material using patterned rollers. the sheet’s longitudinal contraction. The folding process is initiated using air nozzles above and below the material. Pairs of gathering rollers with radially oriented rods further deepen the fold pattern. or as pairs of rollers creasing a single side at a time. In the pre-processing step.7(b) and 6.8. see Figure 6. the folds. Drechsler & Kehrle (2004) and Kehrle (2005) describe a one-step process for the continuous manufacture of folded sandwich panel cores for aerospace applications. accompanied along the fold edges or facet surfaces during its folding process. before the folded sheet is passed through tapering guides to achieve its final fold depth. the process largely relies on the embossed sheet material folding. scored or creased into the material using a set of rollers. using bristle brush rollers the forward travel is decelerated to accommodate. or only intermittently. but introduces problems at the vertices where mountain and valley folds meet and the material may tear. using pairs of rollers with male knife dies and a female elastic back die. Having more than one roller pair reduces their individual complexity. Next. (2006) describe a similar ‘crease and bend’ manufacturing process where the folding process is again initiated by creasing the sheet material along the fold lines. Zakirov et al. the folded sheet is passed through post-treatment rollers which further emboss. Finally. the fold lines are embossed. resilient material. For example. or rather buckling and collapsing. An important parameter in this process is the configuration of the patterned rollers. The first option ensures good alignment of the fold patterns on both sides of the rollers. Instead. These can either be configured as a single pair of mating rollers. or transversely tapering channels that further develop the folding. impressed. First. which is then progressively continued to the desired fold depth. There may also be guides between the fold initiation and the bristle rolls to constrain and guide the vertical expansion. along the desired fold lines under minimal external guidance. The resulting residual stresses initiate the folding process.

7: In the ‘patterning and gathering’ methods the fold pattern is embossed or creased into the sheet material using patterned rollers.. Figure 6. before the sheet is gathered using bristle rollers and passed through a textured roller that imparts the final shape.6. 105 . In (a) the longitudinally oriented Miura pattern is further deepened using air nozzles. which initiates the folding process.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) one-step patterning and gathering method (Kehrle. and subsequently narrowed to the desired fold depth using tapering guides. In (b) the transverse Miura pattern is directly gathered using porcupine rollers. 2005). (b) a ‘crease and bend’ machine (Zakirov et al. 2008).

where the fold pattern is embossed onto the sheet material using patterned rollers.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) patterning rollers emboss the fold pattern on the sheet material. 2010) describe a ‘creasing and bending’ technique.8: Zakirov et al. or a pair of rollers imparting the pattern on both sides simultaneously. (c) photos of a demonstrator model (Zakirov et al. before being gathered using a set of porcupine rollers.6. (b) gathering rollers with radially oriented rods deepen the fold pattern. 2010). this may be done with multiple one-sided rollers. 106 .. (2006. Figure 6.

2. before forming the double corrugation. (2011) show a folded sandwich panel core with tapering thickness. but this may not necessarily extend to other fold patterns. and the forming process is an interplay between the desired local in-plane buckling (into the fold pattern) and the global out-ofplane buckling of the sheet. and examples of both Miura patterns have been found. For example. to a width substantially corresponding to the final width of the folded sheet. Zakirov et al. 1959. During the forming process the unconstrained facets must undergo 107 . No conclusive preference is provided in the literature for either the longitudinal or transverse pattern orientation. The choice of pattern orientation appears to be driven by the application of the core material. and especially the patterning and gathering method. In combination with the intended application. Cyclic Forming For the cyclic forming processes the double-corrugation is added row-by-row. An underexplored aspect of the patterning and gathering methods is the limits on the sheet thickness and material stiffness that can be processed. rather than any obvious limitations of the manufacturing process. A major advantage of the gradual folding techniques. by feeding the pre-gathered material through to the shaping zone in a cyclic manner. which can only be achieved with a transverse pattern orientation. see Figure 6. (2006) note that position inaccuracy of the sawtooth lines has less influence on the final fold height.6. this will determine the preferred pattern orientation. 6. Alekseev et al. For the transverse pattern orientation the process is characterised by bending of the material along the zigzag lines. and these might therefore be added with a separate roller. converting the planar geometry of the transverse Miura pattern to cylindrical coordinates on the patterned rollers. Zakirov & Alekseev (2007) discuss the design parameters of the creasing rollers.9. Gewiss. 1997). is the possibility of continuous production of the folded sheets with minimal material deformation.3 Pre-Gathering Processes The third manufacturing category aims to overcome the coupled longitudinal and transverse contraction by first pre-gathering the sheet material into a singly corrugated sheet. accompanied by a sign reversal of the dihedral fold angles along the longitudinal corrugations bounded by these lines (Hochfeld.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods introduces the problem of poor alignment with the already partially folded sheet material. For curved folded sheets a preferred solution would be to align the global curvature longitudinally with the advancing sheet material. The folding forces are not exerted directly onto the sheet material. It must be noted that the Miura-ori has a very convenient gradual deformation which only involves bending of the facets. 1976. Khaliulin & Skripkin.

Figure 6. and less ductile materials may fracture when the fold angles are inverted. Khaliulin & Skripkin. see Figure 6.. (b) cyclic folding process. 1959. release. Also note that the folded sheet leaves the folding area at an angle to the plane of the incoming sheet material. This folding operation may be performed on a row-by-row basis (Khaliulin et al. feed. For the longitudinal orientation the fold lines either have 108 .10.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) the sheet’s double corrugation is formed row by row. 2007) or multiple rows simultaneously. For the longitudinal pattern orientation. and the middle one is moved transversely to create the double corrugation. and inverting the longitudinal corrugations (Hochfeld. at each forming cycle three shaping zones are placed across the pregathered sheet material. significant bending.9: For the transverse pattern orientation the double corrugation is formed by cyclically clamping a pre-corrugated sheet using mating jaws. (c) cyclic forming machine by Hochfeld (1959). and whose transverse movement is coordinated using a link-chain running along a tapering guide. 1997). which increases for smaller parallelogram angles γ of the Miura pattern. by inverting the fold lines between the dashed lines. which continuously gathers the sheet before it enters the shaping zone. Gewiss (1960) describes parallel sets of mating blades which are placed across the corrugations.6. left to right: clamp. fold. Khaliulin & Batrakov (2005) comment that the transition from linear to zigzag corrugation is accompanied by large (elastic) bending deformation of the facets.

Khaliulin et al. the fold lines necessarily migrate through the material (Khaliulin et al. or stretching of the facets at the final stage of the shaping cycle (respectively for the longitudinal and transverse orientation). an array of blades is placed into the pre-corrugated sheets. (b) in a process described by Gewiss (1960).6. The pre-gathering is achieved by passing the flat sheet material through a series of cir- 109 . This can be done by either pressing the folded sheet material into a dense packet. is their relatively simple and reliable equipment assemblies. and their sideways movement is coordinated using a link-chain and a tapering guide.10: Cyclic manufacturing of a longitudinally oriented Miura pattern from pre-gathered sheet material (Gewiss. 2007).. Figure 6. (2006) described a manufacturing method where the corrugated material is passed through a set of mating textured rollers that directly impart the final shape. to migrate through the material or the facets must undergo a shear deformation.. thereby significantly reducing the amount of slip between the sheet material and the textured rollers. 2007). Bunch & Crunch Basily et al.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) during the forming of a longitudinal Miura pattern from precorrugated material. as well as the integrated calibration steps. Among the advantages listed by Khaliulin & Batrakov (2005) of the cyclic pre-gathering forming methods. 1960. The difficulty of controlling these deformations is considered a disadvantage of these techniques. This modifies the biaxial contraction of the sheet to successive transverse and longitudinal contraction.

which counters any imbalance in forming forces. the latter can be achieved by mirroring the pattern along the centre of the sheet. It is suggested that in many cases it is actually 110 . but no account of actual deformations during the folding process was given. Kling (2005) describes the same two-phase process. During this process the crease lines must migrate through the sheet as the fold depth increases. copper. Figure 6. (b) photos of an experimental manufacturing setup. 2010) describe a manufacturing process whereby the sheet material is first gradually pre-gathered using grooved rollers. with textured rollers producing doublycorrugated folded sheets from pre-gathered sheet material. Rollers for both the transverse and longitudinal pattern orientation are shown. the chance of the material being locked between two grooves is reduced and material shredding is eliminated. by increasing the number of grooves sequentially. cumferentially grooved rollers. aluminium and stainless steel. and comments that “the fact that the conversion from fluted material to faceted material using the patterned rollers takes place without significant stretching of the material inside the rollers is completely non-obvious”.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) schematic overview of the gradual pre-gathering of the sheet material before passing the corrugated sheet through textured rollers (not shown). An estimate of the required forming energy was provided by Elsayed & Basily (2004).6. or any desirable angle in between. It was noted that the method had successfully folded thin sheets of paper. Kling (2007a) notes that in the ‘bunch and crunch’ method the material undergoes its longitudinal contraction in the transition zone from just before it is fed into the rollers to approximately the midpoint between the roller axes. before the final double-corrugation is imparted using textured rollers.11: Elsayed & Basily (2004. Elsayed & Basily (2010) suggest the direction of the engraved folding pattern on the last set of rollers can be made longitudinal or perpendicular to the roller axis.

the more the teeth will have to slide over the material due to this relative velocity. when manufacturing metal sheet.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods impossible for the sheet to slide over the successive teeth to reach the desired folded pattern without in-plane distortion. respectively providing desired geometries of 0. Ichikawa (1995) is the only known publication to provide a combined analysis of the desired mechanical properties of a folded core and the limits imposed on the geometry by the chosen manufacturing method.6. exceeding this 111 .5. the teeth spacing in the longitudinal direction remains approximately constant. but is not suited for materials such as aluminium sheets. Consequently.4 and D/L ≥ 0. Kling (2007a) suggests manufacturing the rollers from hard materials with a low friction coefficient. Thus there is a relative velocity between the roller and the sheet. with an experimentally determined maximum of iy = 10%. The use of preferably less than 20 fold edges going around the roller is suggested. (2008) show a prototype of a manufacturing machine for this process. where it is noteworthy that the wavelength of the pre-corrugated material does not appear to match that of the folded sheet produced by the textured rollers. Drechsler & Kehrle (2004) mention the procedure works for tough materials like nomex paper. the longitudinal pattern orientation is preferred over the transverse shown in Basily et al. Kehrle (2005) refers to a two-step process where “the initial embossing precedes a transverse contraction and thickness expansion. Furthermore. Using a series of experiments. as it allows for deeper fold patterns. parametric relationships are established for shear strength (parallel shear of face sheets) and bending rigidity. folding a longitudinally oriented pattern.12. as it improves slippage between the sheet material and the roller. the depth of the pattern needs to be severely limited to avoid punctures or tears. Very slender rollers. The larger the roller circumference to the period length. (2006). will bend and deflect due to the contact forces and may need to be supported by backing rollers. The manufacturing limit is determined by the pre-narrowing ratio. however. although the contraction ratio is substantially the same. followed by out-of-plane folding and longitudinal contraction in the second phase (either through compressed air or a suitable mechanical arrangement)”. tangentially. Kling (2007a) further suggests passing the corrugated sheet through two or more pairs of textured rollers that gradually achieve the desired fold depth. The further the teeth go into the sheet material.4 < H/L < 1. see Figure 6. However. the greater the longitudinal contraction. and the greater the resulting material strains. Fischer et al. Ichikawa (1995) describes a transversely oriented ‘bunch and crunch’ method. due to the friction with the rollers and the difficulty in having creases migrate through the material. To reduce the amount of slip between rollers and the sheet material. At the contact region several teeth of the roller will engage with the sheet simultaneously. Kling (2007b) qualitatively discusses design parameters for the textured rollers.

A combination of these parameters uniquely defines D/N . 112 . and its upper limit. with the shaded area indicating a combination of desirable and feasible geometries. (c) manufacturability diagram. whereas the allowable width narrowing ratio iy < 10% was determined through manufacturing trials. using a combination of mechanical properties and manufacturability requirements. The desired range of H/L followed from shear tests.12: Ichikawa (1995) describes a manufacturing method where pregathered sheet material is passed through textured rollers (a). A chart with manufacturing limits (c) was developed. Figure 6.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods (a) pre-gathered sheet material is passed through textured rollers.6. (b) geometry parameterisation used by Ichikawa (1995).

This provides a feasible design space in terms of amplitude ratio H/L and meandering ratio D/N .2 Review of Manufacturing Methods ratio creates too much local wrinkling and buckling in the crunching process. the parameter D/L remains free to choose. and the hitherto parallel corrugations increasingly overlap. Continuous Inversion Described by Gewiss (1964). they impart an approximately sinusoidal corrugation to the sheet. by passing a corrugated sheet through an array of articulated rollers. The material is first longitudinally corrugated. which is a crucial consideration when using textured rollers. which limits its application to ductile materials.6.13. and no conclusive preference can thus be given. specifically cardboard. the oscillating discs accomplish most of the longitudinal contraction prior to the textured rollers. the bunch and crunch methods would be suited for globally curved panels if the curvature aligns with the direction of travel of the sheet material. Although not explicity mentioned in the literature. In effect. As these discs oscillate. For the longitudinal pattern orientation an important issue is the shifting of fold lines through the material during the sheet’s transition from a single to a double corrugation. Also. before being fed onto a continuously moving belt which imparts the desired folded configura- 113 . this method was aimed at creating large numbers of small herringbone corrugations of pliable materials. see Figure 6. which will impart some bending stresses to the folded sheet as it exits the textured rollers. This roughed out version of the sheet is then passed through one or more sets of secondary rollers that impress the polygonal folding pattern. An important advantage of both these types of pre-gathering methods is that relatively stiff materials can be formed as the folding forces are exerted directly on the sheet material. For the transverse pattern orientation an important factor is the inversion of fold lines. The cyclic forming processes will benefit from lack of slip between the mould and sheet material. The manufacturing limits and accuracies for either orientation are still largely unknown. Oscillating Discs Kling (2007b) describes an intriguing method to create sinusoidally doubly corrugated sheet. as well as the complex material deformations due to the required slip between the sheet and the textured rollers. A disadvantage of the textured rollers is their complexity and thus costly manufacture. thereby significantly reducing slip in the final forming stage. The pattern orientation would then be prescribed by the application of the core material. but are strongly affected by the choice of pattern orientation. this will be especially relevant as the V /L ratio increases. the transversely folded sheet will wish to leave the forming zone at an angle to the plane of the incoming sheet material. The material deformations for the cyclic and bunch and crunch methods are comparable.

which prohibits the method’s use for materials sensitive to fatigue. see Figure 6. or (on the opposite side) it is immediately mated to the master pattern. but for the latter orientation the material must undergo a substantial shear deformation when the linear corrugation is converted into a zigzag one. Khaliulin & Batrakov (2005) suggest that these methods are convenient for fold patterns with a relatively large V0 /S0 ratio. before a new double corrugation is added and the hybrid pattern is folded simultaneously along all fold lines to a three-dimensional state.6.14. Both transverse and longitudinal patterns can be folded.15. Both the contact between and the eventual separation of the sheet material and the belt is achieved using air pressure. and for the longitudinal scheme the position of the deforming forces with respect to the blank becomes unfavourable. Otherwise the transverse scheme would involve too large dihedral folds. The roughed-out sheet is subsequently passed through textured rollers or stamping dies to obtain its final shape (Kling. 2007a. see Figure 6. During each shaping cycle the sheet material is folded flat.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Figure 6. the corrugation is either continously inverted. By design this method only applies to transversely oriented patterns.b). (2005a) features both single longitudinal corrugations and the Miura pattern’s double corrugations within the same folded sheet. and the material should be pliable enough to allow fold lines to move through the material. 114 . tion. As the corrugated material contacts the patterned belt. Hybrid Folding The hybrid folding technique introduced by Khaliulin et al. An important issue is the repeated folding and unfolding of the sheet.13: Corrugated sheet material is passed through a set of oscillating discs that impart a sinusoidal corrugation pattern.

15: The hybrid folding process was described by Khaliulin et al. Shaping takes place by simultaneously folding along zigzag. 115 .6. this forms a hybrid structure with the doublecorrugation joined with the triangular corrugation along the sawtooth lines. before being fed into the shaping zones between A and C. sawtooth and straight lines. (b) transverse hybrid folding. which imparts the desired doubly-corrugated pattern. Figure 6. During each cycle the folded sheet is flattened.14: In the continuous inversion method described by Gewiss (1964) the pre-corrugated sheet material is continuously fed onto a moving belt.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods Figure 6. (a) longitudinal hybrid folding. (2005a).

Finally. However. to shifting or inversion of fold lines. and shear deformation of the facets. several conclusions can be drawn. other than for the production of small numbers and small surface area. Many. However. the ultimately formed sheets will still undergo small material strains compared to alternative conventional forming methods. The gradual folding methods find a middle ground between minimal material deformation and the possibility of continuous production. The synchronous folding methods closely approximate the theoretical rigid folding kinematics of the sheets. as relatively thick and stiff materials can be formed. These deformations range from bending of the facets. and thus introduce the least amount of undesired deformations in the sheet material.6. no studies have been found into the patterns and materials that can be folded. Especially the patterning and gathering methods have been successfully shown to produce folded (curved) sandwich panel cores in a wide range of materials. Several interesting pre-gathering methods have been found. 116 . but almost all most omit a quantative account of the material deformations during the folding process. however. it should be noted that even for folding processes that significantly deform the sheet material.4 Conclusions A wide range of manufacturing methods for folded sheets has been found in the literature. Especially the manufacturing accuracies for the final folded sheets is still an open question. Nevertheless. the methods will be uneconomical.2. the vacuum-actuated methods provide a very suitable means to produce sheets of a wide range of materials and geometries. especially the bunch and crunch methods are interesting for mass production of folded textured sheets. Making use of the kinematic properties of the Miura-ori sheets. Any complete overview of the suitability of the various methods for given materials and fold patterns is therefore impossible to obtain merely through a literature review. and the amount of embossing or pre-weakening of the fold lines that is required to enable the sheet to collapse into the desired fold pattern. Nevertheless. appear to require substantial deformation of the sheet material to attain the final folded configuration.2 Review of Manufacturing Methods 6.

The biaxial contraction during the folding process is enabled by the freely moving spacers. such as embossing. The forming process introduced here differs from existing synchronous manufacturing methods for folded sheets in a number of ways. relatively thick sheet materials can be formed using this method by increasing the external pressure. which is evacuated to near vacuum.3. This can be achieved through a range of techniques. 2011). Although the Miura-ori sheet is most commonly used. For reasons of simplicity.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 6. melting. without external guidance. two such sheets are packed into a sandwich structure. we shall ignore many of the subtleties involved in sheet metal bending. it is does not require expensive tooling such as folding matrices. see Figure 6. CUED. 6. The combination is packed into an air-tight bag. In our initial implementation a simple perforation pattern is created along the fold lines.16. such as shifting of the neutral axis. Firstly. etc.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding This section describes a novel forming process to fold a Miura pattern from metal sheets. etching. Lastly. the manufacturing process clearly extends to other folding patterns. This pressure difference forces the sheets to bend locally and simultaneously along all fold lines.. which is determined by the height of the spacers. the spacer plates provide minimal guidance to the folding of the sheet. a similar method described by Gewiss (1968) separates two sheets by a more complex ‘motive structure’ that controls the folding motion. combined with an increase in external pressure. with an upper bound given by the buckling load of the spacer plates. and the process therefore largely relies on fold lines forming accurately and the sheet contracting uniformly. The fold depth is limited by the eventual contact between the two sheets. and the material is weakened along the fold lines. and is therefore well suited to create prototypes of different geometries. see Figure 6.6.2 Process Calculations The aim of the following calculations is to predict the required forming pressure to fold a Miura-ori sheet from flat sheet material. the exact curvature of the fold line and subsequent springback 1 the manufacturing method was developed in collaboration with Dr Julian Allwood.1 Process Description First the fold pattern is transferred onto the metal sheet.3. with the sheets separated by a series of simple ‘spacers’ that are placed into slots along the ‘mountain ranges’ of the sheet. Next. In contrast.17. using a cold gas-pressure technique1 (Schenk et al. 6. Also. 117 .

16: Manufacturing process. after creating a sufficient pressure difference the sheet is folded and the vacuum bag opened to reveal the final product. 118 .3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding Figure 6.6. Figure 6. sheet with spacer plates slotted in place before the second perforated sheet is placed on top to form a sandwich structure.17: The sandwich of patterned sheets is placed into an autoclave. a folded sheet after the folding process. From right to left: aluminium sheet perforated along the fold lines.

6.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding









Figure 6.18: Geometric parameters of a Miura unit cell. The values a, b and γ
describe the shape of the parallelogram, whereas the fold angle θ determines the
current configuration of the unit cell (θ=0,55,85◦ are shown).
(Marciniak & Duncan, 1992). Instead, we assume that during the folding process
a plastic hinge has formed along all fold lines (Johnson & Yu, 1980). By equating
the work done by the applied pressure and the energy dissipated plastically in the
hinges, an analytical formulation for the required folding pressure can be found.
Unit Cell Kinematics
For the calculations an analytical description of the kinematics of the folding
process of the Miura pattern is required. The unit cell can be defined by the
side lengths a and b, and the acute angle γ of the parallelogram elements — see
Figure 6.18. The dihedral fold angle θ between the facets and the mid-plane
determines the current configuration. The height H, the width 2S and length 2L
of the unit cell are calculated as follows
H = a · sin θ sin γ
S =b· p



cos θ tan γ


1 + cos2 θ tan2 γ

1 − sin2 θ sin2 γ


The projected area of the unit cell is then Aproj = 4SL. The fold angle ϕ is
described by
cos2 γ
ϕ = arcsin 1/
+ sin γ
cos2 θ


6.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding

Energy Balance
The forming pressure difference p can be calculated by equating the variation in
external work done by the applied pressure and the internal work required to
plastically deform the sheet material, as follows
dWext = dWint
pdV =
Mpi dαi


where dαi is the change in fold angle i, and Mpi the corresponding plastic moment.
For the Miura sheet we shall assume the compatibility equations of the folding
process to be described by the fold angle θ. The energy balance can then be
rewritten as
dθ =

which must hold for any dθ for the sheet to be in equilibrium. The required
pressure difference p can subsequently be found for any fold depth.
External Work The external work consists of two components: the work exerted by the pressure on the top surface of the sheet and the work it exerts around
the perimeter, as the sheet folds — see Figure 6.19. The two components of the
total displaced volume V are given as
(H − h) +
For the virtual work equation, we find dV as  

∂Aproj (H − h) Aproj ∂H
dV =

2 ∂θ
V = Vtop + Vside =



Note that increasing the height h of the spacers lowers the pressure required to
fold the sheet; however, in all calculations presented here, we shall assume that
the spacer height is double the desired fold depth.
It is further interesting to note that the component Vtop is by itself not sufficient
to fold the pattern to any desired depth. This is due to the fact that the displaced
volume Vtop reaches a maximum at θ = 45◦ — see Figure 6.20. Thereafter dVtop
becomes negative and the external pressure provides negative work; i.e. it will
work to unfold the sheet. In order to fold the sheet further, the effect of the
pressure exerting a compressive force along the perimeter of the sheet takes over.
Internal Work Assuming a plastic hinge has formed along all fold lines, the
internal work done to deform a unit cell from its initial flat state to a given
configuration, is described by:  

Wint = 2t2 σy aκa ( − ϕ) + bκb θ


6.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding

(a) unit cell in a partially folded state. The volume under the unit
cell is given by Vtop = H
, with H the current fold depth of the
2 proj

(b) partially folded sheet with spacers. The displaced volume is indi,
cated by the shaded areas, and is calculated as Vside = (A0 −Aproj ) h
with h the spacer height.

Figure 6.19: The total displaced volume V during folding of the sheet consists of
the volume Vtop under each unit cell (a), and the volume Vside displaced by the
in-plane contraction of the sheet (b).
where ϕ is the dihedral angle between the vertical plane and the facets (see Figure 6.18), κ the degree of pre-weakening along the fold line and a, b the length of
the fold lines. The change in internal work dWint is then  

dWint = 2t2 σy bκb − aκa

No folding will take place along the perimeter of the sheet, which could be taken
into account in the internal work equation. Assuming a sufficiently large sheet, the
effect along the perimeter becomes negligible and the folding process of an entire
sheet can be described using a single unit cell. Any additional plastic deformation
at the vertices, where several fold lines interact, has hitherto not been taken into
account. Within the assumed deformation kinematics, i.e. plastic hinges along the
length of the fold lines, the additional energy dissipated at the vertex is ∝ (t/2)3 ;
this component can therefore be neglected when t  a, b.


As can be seen.6 0.5 0.8 2V / ( h A 0 ) [−] 0. Vtop reaches a maximum at θ = 45◦ (which is independent of geometry).3 0.6. V¯ = 2V / (hA0 ). 122 .9 0.1 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 θ [deg] 60 70 80 90 Figure 6.4 0. here h = 2hmax = 2a sin(γ).2 0. whilst investigating the relative density of a folded sandwich panel core.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 1 total side top 0. Klett & Drechsler (2010) found the same result. as a function of the fold angle. after which dVtop < 0 and the pressure on the top surface will therefore work to unfold the sheet.7 0.20: Normalized displaced volume.

At the initial stage of folding.21 and enables quick lookup of the pressure required to fold different patterns. 123 . For the geometry used in our manufacturing trials. In order to calculate the required pmax for Miura patterns of any geometry. θtarget where a.9 and 6. σy the material’s yield stress.6. the variables governing the forming process have been normalized as follows: p¯ = pmax A0 σy t2eq . and teq = κt the equivalent material thickness along the fold line.22. γ = 60◦ . Values of γ = 0◦ and γ = 90◦ provide edge cases where the two fold lines either coincide or are orthogonal. γ .5 and a plastic hinge will thus not yet have formed along both fold lines simultaneously. 6. The resulting plot for r = a/b = 1 is shown in Figure 6. r= a b . θtarget the desired fold angle. and the fold angles are therefore respectively equal or completely decoupled. γ describe the geometry of the unit cell. the relationship is strongly non-linear. b.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding Maximum Pressure Using Equations 6. A0 is the initial area of the unit √ cell.11. Coupling of Fold Angles The relationship between the two fold angles θ and ϕ in the Miura sheet will depend on the unit cell geometry and configuration — see Figure 6. is the maximum pressure needed to fold the sheet to a desired fold angle θtarget . Of greater practical interest. however. the required forming pressure at every stage of the folding process can be calculated. the ratio d(π/2− ϕ)/dθ ≈ 0.7.

5 12 12.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding (a) 70 16 15.5 11 45 10 11.5 15 6 65 14. yielding a maximum normalized forming pressure of p¯ = 9. By means of example.21: The normalized maximum pressure p¯ = pmax A0 /(σy t2eq ) required during the folding process to attain θtarget for varying γ.5 13 7. the contour plot (b) enables straightforward lookup of the required pressure.5 14 7 60 p ≈ 9.5 7 15 35 0 10 20 30 40 50 θtarget [deg] 60 70 80 90 6 (b) Figure 6. with the ratio r = a/b = 1.5 8 55 16 12 γ [deg] 8.5 9 11 9. Alternatively.5 6.5 13 9 13.5 14 40 8 14.5 50 10 10.3 15 14 13. 124 . in (a) the surface is sliced at γ = 60◦ and θtarget = 55◦ .3.6.

3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 90 80 70 90°− ϕ [deg] 60 γ =0° 50 γ =60° 40 30 20 γ =88° 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 θ [deg] 60 70 80 90 Figure 6.6. At the intersection of the curves with the diagonal. 125 .22: Coupling between the two fold angles of a Miura sheet. the coupling d(π/2 − ϕ)/dθ = 1. for varying geometry γ. ϕ and θ.

with κa = κb = 0. The dimensions for the Miuraori pattern were chosen as a = b = 25mm. which corresponds to a depth of 17mm. was made using a CNC milling machine. 126 . Plastic Hinge Measurements In order to gain insight into possible strain-hardening behaviour and find a suitable value for the material’s yield stress in the plastic hinge. The desired perforation pattern.3 Manufacturing Trials A series of manufacturing trials was performed to assess the novel manufacturing method and validate the analytical calculations.23.71mm) and 24 gauge (0.56mm) — were used. follows from the geometry of the setup.4. bending the sheet along the perforated fold line. 6. with w the width of the support and µ the coefficient of friction between the test specimen and the support. The measured load F and displacement d are converted into a moment-angle relationship as follows:   F t Fw Mp = tan (α − arctan(µ)) d − + (6. with a desired fold angle of θ = 55◦ . see Figure 6. Aluminium sheets of Al 5252-H22 alloy of two different thicknesses — 22 gauge (0.6. The measured displacement d and load F can be converted into a plastic moment versus fold angle (= 2α) relationship.12) 2 2 4   d The fold angle. The tests were done on an Instron 3367 testing machine.03 and 1. A narrow wedge is moved downward. and the spacer plates were manufactured from 22 gauge stainless steel with a waterjet cutter. a series of modified threepoint bending tests was performed.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding F d α w Figure 6.03 bar.23: Modified three-point bending test to determine the yield stress in a plastic hinge. 2α ≈ 2 arctan w/2 . and the predicted maximum forming pressures were respectively 2. γ = 60◦ and m = n = 4.3.

and provide a more accurate measurement 127 . The equivalent yield stress σy is taken as the average over fold angles of 20◦ −100◦ . The equivalent σy is calculated as the average over fold angles of 20−100◦ . where the specimen is attached to two rigid parts and the combination is loaded in compression beyond its buckling load.3. see Figure 6. κ = 0. the graph clearly shows the effect of some strain hardening. To gain more detailed insight into this issue. κ = 0.79. the measurements sufficiently support the approximation of a rigid perfectly-plastic material model. (2011a. 90) applies a uniform bending moment.24 for the Al 5251-H22 alloy sheets used in the manufacturing trials. the bending moment at the fold line will increase and the material will show a stronger tendency for strain hardening. The test results are shown in Figure 6. calculated from the measurements using a friction factor of µ = 0. κ = 0. pp. σ y = 221 N/mm2 24 gauge. regarding the results. For example. σ y = 270 N/mm 2 22 gauge.95.25. κ = 0. For the purpose of our calculations. σ y = 280 N/mm2 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Fold angle [deg] 70 80 90 100 Figure 6.71mm) sheet and σy = 220MPa for the 24 gauge (0. whereas Baranger et al.40. When assuming a lower value for the friction coefficient µ. σ y = 275 N/mm2 5 22 gauge.40. before the bending moment drops off as the material cracks at the outer edge of the bend. a more suitable test setup is required.6. κ = 0. Either approach would eliminate the problem of friction. A few remarks are in order.24: The plastic moment per unit length of the fold line. Each line is the average of four test specimens with equal perforation factor κ. a test used by Marciniak & Duncan (1992. For the 22 gauge sheets.63. Using a friction coeffient of µ = 0.3 this resulted in values of σy = 270MPa for the 22 gauge (0. Fig.56mm) sheet. for the 22 and 24 gauge aluminium sheets. 5) use a ‘Shanley column’. σ y = 227 N/mm2 10 22 gauge.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 40 35 Moment / Fold Length [N] 30 25 20 15 24 gauge.

5 25 20 15 µ=0 µ = 0.e.1 µ = 0. For two sheets the applied pressure and acquired fold depth were measured. of the plastic moment.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 45 0 40 0. the predicted values lie below the measured pressures required to fold the sheet to a desired depth. The fold depth was measured after pressure was released (i.4 µ = 0. and the experimental results are compared with the predicted values in Figure 6. This suggests that even in this relatively pure form of folding.1 35 0. Trial Results The novel forming process was successfully used to fold the Miura-ori pattern from aluminium sheets. rather than the rigid perfectly-plastic material model assumed 128 . The large disparity between theory and measurements for low values of the fold angle is due to the material elasticity.6.26.g. after springback) and the value was converted to fold angle θ.2 Moment / Fold Length [N] 0. e. the sheet’s material properties will depend on the fold line’s orientation within the sheet due to the anisotropy introduced by the sheet rolling process. we cannot yet account for the full forming energy required to fold the Miura pattern. the assumed friction coefficient µ has an important effect. no moving fold lines and minimal bending of the facets during folding.4 30 0. Lower assumed values for the friction coefficient result in greater strain-hardening behaviour as well as greater plastic moment.27.25: In the conversion of the measured force-displacement values to the desired moment-angle relationship (Equation 6.2 µ = 0. assuming the theoretical folding kinematics of the sheet. an example sheet manufactured of 22 gauge aluminium is shown in Figure 6.3 µ = 0.5 10 5 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Fold angle [deg] 70 80 90 100 Figure 6.12).3 0. As can be seen. Lastly.

damaging the spacer plates and voiding their reuse. The sheets that were pre-weakened less than κ = 0. this is also seen in simulations by Shabalin et al. using the novel folding process. 129 .26: A Miura-ori sheet folded from a 22 gauge aluminium sheet.28 also reveal cracks along the outer radius of the fold lines. As a result. such as Finite Element Analysis. Looking at Figure 6. There was also a global instability as the two sheets bulged and buckled. It is postulated that the curved fold line follows a lower-energy route.4 did not fold as desired and ended up effectively singly-corrugated. The holes drilled at the intended vertices of the folded sheet are consistently not centred on the actual vertex in the folded state. the intended fold line with the perforation pattern no longer lies along the actual fold line. This should be resolved with a more advanced model.28 the vertices appear to undergo more complex and substantial plastic deformation than assumed in our simple kinematic model.6. due to the tight fold angle. with the sheet forming an almost straight corrugation along the unsupported ridges. Some tests were performed to establish the influence of the weakening factor κ along the fold lines. The more complex deformation kinematics at the vertices also resulted in small membrane strains in the corners of the parallelogram elements. for the calculations.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding Figure 6. A closer look at the material along the fold lines in Figure 6. (2010). and thereby avoids the intended vertex.

The measured values were normalized using the experimentally determined yield stress. both are normalized.27: Comparison of the theoretical forming pressure with the measured values.6. Given the relatively small dimensions of the Miura sheet (4 × 4 unit cells). the absence of folding along the perimeter was taken into account for the calculations. 130 .3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding 12 10 p A0 /(σy κ t2) [−] 8 6 4 calculation (4x4) calculation (unit cell) 22 gauge 24 gauge 2 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 θ [deg] 35 40 45 50 55 Figure 6.

6. Top shows a ridge supported by the spacer plates.3 Cold Gas-Pressure Folding Figure 6. and bottom one that is freely formed.28: Close-ups of the fold lines of a Miura sheet folded from 22 gauge aluminium sheet. seeking a lower-energy solution. Note how the fold pattern avoids the intended vertex. 131 .

and minimal information is available regarding the precise forming process and resulting deformations of the sheet material. Spurred by investigations into folded sandwich panel cores. most publications describe the manufacturing process in qualitative terms. An important open area of research is the accuracy of the various manufacturing methods. gradual and pre-gathering folding techniques. with minimal initial tooling. which uses cold gaspressure to fold the sheet material. as well as establish the desired pre-weakening along the fold lines to ensure accurate folding without compromising the structural properties of the folded sheet. recent years have seen the development of promising methods for the continuous manufacture of folded textured sheets. However. The method is aimed at the production of small-scale prototypes of relatively thick sheet material. The analytical calculations were shown to underestimate the pressure required during the manufacturing trials.4 Conclusions 6. or the restrictions on the fold patterns and materials that can be folded. 132 . Further experimental and numerical studies are required to more accurately determine the folding energy and forces. as this greatly affects the mechanical properties of the folded core material. a novel manufacturing method was introduced.6. Furthermore.4 Conclusions A comprehensive review of (patent) literature revealed a range of specialised manufacturing methods for folded textured sheets — specifically the Miura pattern. a possible explanation can be sought in the more complex deformations at the vertices of the fold pattern. These methods were categorised into synchronous.

Of specific interest is the sheets’ ability to change their global Gaussian curvature. the Miura and Eggbox sheet. Global deformations of the folded shell structures were mapped to deformations of the unit cells and its constituent thin-walled facets. as well as the first known analytical and experimental comparison of the required forming energy. for the two example sheets considered throughout this thesis. an important consideration was the multiscale modelling of the sheets. In the presented structural analysis. the effective Poisson’s ratio was oppositely signed for stretching and bending. i. A novel manufacturing method was presented. The manufacture of developable folded shell structures.e. An extensive literature review established the available manufacturing methods for these types of folded sheets. Furthermore. the following conclusions can be drawn: • folded shell structures are a promising approach for creating compliant surfaces.Chapter 7 Conclusions & Future Work 7. were shown 133 .1 Conclusions A novel type of shell structure was introduced and analysed. those that can be folded from flat sheet material. In summary. It is this structural hierarchy that imbues the folded shell structures with their interesting mechanical properties. folded shell structures. with purely developable deformations at material level (i. presents unique challenges. which in turn are composed of thin-walled shells joined at distinct fold lines. conversely.e. the oppositely signed Poisson’s ratios of the folded sheets were shown to follow directly from the unit cell kinematics. as they can undergo large strains and change their global Gaussian curvature with only low-energy bending deformations at the material scale. These shell structures have a distinct structural hierarchy: globally they can be regarded as thin-walled shells. no stretching). but at a meso scale they are constituted of tessellated unit cells. the possible deformations of the unit cells prescribe the global sheet mechanics. • two example folded shell structures. For example.

and insensitive to imperfections in the fold pattern. • the dominant mechanical behaviour of the folded shell structures was shown to be primarily a result of the geometry. • an important factor in the manufacturing techniques is the material deformation during the forming process and the accuracy of the final product. • a crucial aspect of the folded shell structures is their structural hierarchy. A literature review revealed a range of manufacturing processes that have been successfully demonstrated in prototypes as well as industrial settings. gradual folding (where the sheet gradually transitions from flat to fully folded state) and pre-gathering methods (where the material is precorrugated transversely to the desired width before the final fold pattern is imparted). rather than material properties. the global surface consists of tessellated unit cells. • three distinct categories of manufacturing methods were identified. • the sheets’ change in global Gaussian curvature can be attained through only developable deformations of the unit cells. whereas any out-of-plane deformations of the sheets require bending of the facets. with additional bending stiffness for the facets and fold lines. eigenmodes. • due to the constrained kinematics of the unit cells it is difficult to describe the unit cell deformations at axes other than those chosen for convenience. synchronous folding (where folding takes place along all fold lines simultaneously). these additional constraints were systematically introduced into the classical pin-jointed truss formulations. the sheets’ planar kinematics involve no bending of the unit cell facets. to enable folding with minimal material deformations. which in turn are composed of thin-walled facets joined at distinct fold lines. • a modal analysis of the folded sheets showed that the salient deformation modes (those that change the sheets’ global Gaussian curvature) are among the softest.1 Conclusions to have an oppositely signed effective Poisson’s ratio for their in-plane and out-of-plane deformation modes. and the oppositely signed Poisson’s ratio of the sheets follows directly from the unit cell kinematics. • the manufacture of developable folded sheets requires specialised manufacturing techniques. • the observed global modes were described in terms of unit cell deformations. and therefore most dominant. only opening and closing of the folds. 134 .7. • the mechanics of the folded shells were modelled using a simplified representation as a pin-jointed truss.

before extending the analysis to more complex folded shell structures. • the first known comparison of the analytically derived forming energy with experimental values showed that. Capturing the large displacement out-of-plane behaviour will be the predominant challenge. more knowledge of near-developable deformations is required.2 Future Work The work described in this thesis represents a first analysis of folded shell structures. using cold gas pressure to fold relatively thick metal sheets into the Miura pattern with minimal initial tooling. Taking into account the detailed deformation at the fold lines.2 Future Work only qualitative information was found and the operating limits of the manufacturing processes therefore remain largely unknown. is necessary to establish the practically achievable in-plane strains. and it has opened a range of possible future research avenues. Numerical simulation of the deformation of the vertices. The folded sheets can undergo significant planar strains due to the opening and closing of the fold lines. the kinematic analysis) with a material model. 7. • a new manufacturing method was developed. However. in order to fully describe the mechanics of folded shell structures and other compliant shell mechanisms. as well as material fatigue. where various fold lines interact. Manufacture The proposed cold gas pressure forming technique warrants further study.e. the total forming energy of a Miura sheet is not completely accounted for by a simple hinge plasticity model. In this thesis developable deformation of the unit cell facets has been presumed. more experimental data is needed for a better estimate of the discrepancy between the analytically derived and experimentally determined forming pressures. and using Castigliano’s theorem to express the resulting stiffness components in conventional continuum mechanics formulations. even for a simple folding process. Structural Analysis The next step in the structural analysis of folded shell structures would be to combine the compatibility equations (i. and shown to capture the observed global sheet behaviour.7. 135 . An initial starting point would be singly-corrugated sheets with distinct fold lines. A likely explanation is found in the more complex plastic deformations at the vertices. but this has hitherto not been sufficiently quantified.

although additional fold lines may be introduced. springback of the sheet material has so far not been taken into account. by virtue of the tessellation of degree-6 vertices. which provides a means to tailor the mechanical behaviour across the sheets. the waterbomb tessellations (Halloran. Applications One area of application of folded sheets is as impact absorbing materials. The degree of pre-weakening or embossing required to ensure accurate and reliable folding is not yet established. will provide the necessary insight into the additional plastic work. Its inherent flexibility in some modes. Also. or decreasing it with a perforation pattern.7. makes it very promising as core material for blast-resistant sandwich panels. whilst maintaining stiffness in others. In all current studies the fold pattern remains unchanged during folding and under mechanical loads. Tachi (2010b) showed that the Eggbox and Miura patterns can be combined into single DOF deployable mechanisms. Different patterns may provide additional and more desirable mechanical properties. 2009) provide an inherently greater flexibility. either increasing it by introducing a local texture.2 Future Work where several fold lines intersect and interact. For example. In some of the continuous gradual folding manufacturing methods. It was found that in some plastic models. the sheet material buckles and collapses along pre-weakened fold lines into the desired fold pattern. adding a hitherto unexplored degree of freedom. Scaling down the fold patterns for use in MEMS devices would enable selfassembly of the patterns using established micro-manufacturing techniques and create a new range of micro-materials. The ability to control the Kfacet /Kfold ratio for a folded sheet would enable tailoring of the dominant deformation modes for different applications. The work in this thesis has led to the development of a novel meso-structured material based on the stacking of Miura sheets. One approach is to locally modify the facet bending stiffness. 136 . the vertices would move plastically through the sheet material. Fold Patterns In this thesis two example patterns have been used to illustrate the mechanical properties of folded shell structures.

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