Twist of tubular mechanical metamaterials based on waterbomb origami

Huijuan Feng, Jiayao Ma, Yan Chen, Zhong You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Origami-inspired mechanical metamaterials have recently drawn increasing attention since their flexible mechanical performance has been greatly enhanced by introducing origami patterns to the thin-shell structures. As a typical origami pattern, the waterbomb tube could be adopted to the design of mechanical metamaterials. However, existing designs predominantly make use of the radial expansion/contraction motion of the structure, thereby limiting its full potential to be explored. Here we report a twist motion of tubular mechanical metamaterials based on waterbomb origami that is previously undiscovered. We demonstrate through a detailed kinematic analysis that the initial twist is a rigid-origami motion if the corresponding row of the tube under twist is fully squeezed with both line and plane symmetry, whereas all the subsequent twist motion requires material deformation. The twist angle per axial strain and its relationship with the geometrical parameters of the tube are revealed. Experimental results show the enhancement in stiffness of the tube with the occurrence of the continuous twist motion. We envisage that this finding could greatly expand the application of the waterbomb tube in the design of origami metamaterials with programmable and tuneable mechanical properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9522
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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