[Image Source: University of Bristol]
A new metamaterial has been created by engineers from the University of Bristol using an ancient Japanese technique known as Kirigami.
Kirigami, in which the cellular metamaterials were based upon, is a Japanese art form that involves cutting and folding paper to obtain a 3D shape. The new technique enables cellular structures to be engineered with precise cuts that create large shape and volume alterations resulting in a lightweight, strong material. The shapes can be created with moveable parts that result in extremely tunable mechanical properties, making it more dexterous than origami.
The research conducted examining the viability of Kiragami structures was concluded in a PhD program run by the University’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT), and was recently published in Scientific Reports.
“Mechanical metamaterials exhibit unusual properties through the shape and deformation of their engineered subunits. Our research presents a new investigation of the kinematics of a family of cellular metamaterials based on Kirigami design principles. This technique allows us to create cellular structures with engineered cuts and folds that produce large shape and volume changes, and with extremely directional, tuneable mechanical properties.”
“By combining analytical models and numerical simulations we have demonstrated how these Kirigami cellular metamaterials can change their deformation characteristics. We have also shown the potential of using these classes of mechanical metamaterials for shape change applications like morphing structures.”