Design and manufacturing of highly tailorable pre-bent bi-stable composites

Jingze Wang*, Martinson Addo Nartey, Fabrizio Scarpa, Weicheng Cui, Hua-xin Peng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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A composite bi-stable structure can deform and maintain its stable states without the need for constant energy inputs. In this paper we describe a class of composite bi-stable shells that makes use of ad-hoc stacking sequences and pre-bending to modify the curvature of the plate. These composite structures possess two types of bi-stability (same direction and opposite direction). The same-direction bi-stable structure is characterized by the presence of two stable states that face the same direction. The same-direction bi-stable configuration can produce a final shape of the shell that effectively minimises the overall volume of the structure and can therefore be used in reconfigurable and stowable antennas. We also describe a procedure to extend the duration of the transition process between the stable states from ~1 second to ~5 seconds. This slow transition
process can effectively reduce the potential damage to components attached to the bi-stable structure. The slow transition process described here is also relevant to further develop the technology readiness level of engineering applications involving multi-stable composites.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114519
Number of pages9
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date8 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
JW thanks the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11902288 , Grant No. 51879157 ), Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2020M681941 ) and the “Construction of a Leading Innovation Team” project by the Hangzhou Municipal government. FS and HXP acknowledge the support from ZJU through the Overseas Academician Joint Lab for Advanced Composite Materials and Structures. Lastly, all authors acknowledge late Dr. Yang Luo of InCSI for his contribution to the work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • pre-bending
  • bi-stable
  • same-direction bi-stable
  • opposite-direction bi-stable


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