Shape-Shifting Materials With Infinite Possibilities: Totimorphic Structural Materials Can Achieve Any Shape


Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson College of Engineering and Utilized Sciences (SEAS) have developed a shape-shifting materials that may take and maintain any potential form, paving the way in which for a brand new kind of multifunctional materials that could possibly be utilized in a spread of functions, from robotics and biotechnology to structure. Credit score: Harvard SEAS

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson College of Engineering and Utilized Sciences (SEAS) have developed a shape-shifting materials that may take and maintain any potential form, paving the way in which for a brand new kind of multifunctional materials that could possibly be utilized in a spread of functions, from robotics and biotechnology to structure.  

The analysis is printed within the Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences

“Immediately’s shape-shifting supplies and buildings can solely transition between just a few secure configurations however we’ve proven learn how to create structural supplies which have an arbitrary vary of shape-morphing capabilities,” mentioned L Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Utilized Arithmetic, of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics and senior writer of the paper.  “These buildings enable for unbiased management of the geometry and mechanics, laying the muse for engineering purposeful shapes utilizing a brand new kind of morphable unit cell.”


SEAS researchers dubbed this materials “totimorphic” due to its means to morph into any secure form. The researchers linked particular person unit cells with naturally secure joints, constructing 2D and 3D buildings from particular person totimorphic cells.

One of many greatest challenges in designing shape-morphing supplies is balancing the seemingly contradictory wants of conformability and rigidity. Conformability permits transformation to new shapes but when it’s too conformal, it could’t stably preserve the shapes. Rigidity helps lock the fabric into place but when it’s too inflexible, it could’t tackle new shapes. 

The group began with a neutrally secure unit cell with two inflexible components, a strut and a lever, and two stretchable elastic springs. In the event you’ve ever seen the start of a Pixar movie, you’ve seen a neutrally secure materials. The Pixar lamp head is secure in any place as a result of the pressure of gravity is at all times counteracted by springs that stretch and compress in a coordinated means, whatever the lamp configuration. Usually, neutrally secure programs, a mixture of inflexible and elastic components balances the vitality of the cells, making every neutrally secure, which means that they’ll transition between an infinite variety of positions or orientations and be secure in any of them. 


On this neutrally secure cell, a mixture of inflexible and elastic components balances the vitality of the cell, permitting it to transition between an infinite variety of positions or orientations and be secure in any of them.

“By having a neutrally secure unit cell we are able to separate the geometry of the fabric from its mechanical response at each the person and collective degree,” mentioned Gaurav Chaudhary, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first writer of the paper. “The geometry of the unit cell may be assorted by altering each its total dimension in addition to the size of the only movable strut, whereas its elastic response may be modified by various both the stiffness of the springs inside the construction or the size of the struts and hyperlinks.”

The researchers dubbed the meeting as “totimorphic supplies” due to their means to morph into any secure form. The researchers linked particular person unit cells with naturally secure joints, constructing 2D and 3D buildings from particular person totimorphic cells.

The researchers used each mathematical modeling and real-world demonstrations to indicate the fabric’s shape-shifting means. The group demonstrated that one single sheet of totimorphic cells can curve up, twist right into a helix, morph into the form of two distinct faces and even bear weight.

“We present that we are able to assemble these components into buildings that may tackle any form with heterogeneous mechanical responses,” mentioned S. Ganga Prasath, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first writer of the paper. “Since these supplies are grounded in geometry, they could possibly be scaled down for use as sensors in robotics or biotechnology or could possibly be scaled up for use on the architectural scale.

“All collectively, these totimorphs pave the way in which for a brand new class of supplies whose deformation response may be managed at a number of scales,” mentioned Mahadevan.

Reference: “Totimorphic assemblies from neutrally secure items” by Gaurav Chaudhary, S. Ganga Prasath, Edward Soucy and L. Mahadevan, 19 October 2021, Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2107003118

The analysis was co-authored by Edward Soucy.





Form-Shifting Supplies With Infinite Prospects: Totimorphic Structural Supplies Can Obtain Any Form Source link Form-Shifting Supplies With Infinite Prospects: Totimorphic Structural Supplies Can Obtain Any Form

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