Designing multi-stable structures with enhanced designability and deformability by introducing transition elements

Jingze Wang, Martinson Addo Nartey, Yang Luo, Huan Wang, Fabrizio Scarpa, Hua-Xin Peng*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

19 Citations (Scopus)


Referring to the basic principle of bi-stable structures and the design of continuous multi-stable composite surfaces, a new method for designing multi-stable structures is proposed in this paper. The multi-stable plate is divided into deformation and transition elements. By introducing transition elements of which the stiffness is appropriately tailored, the geometric compatibility problem of multi-stable composite structure can be reduced. New multi-stable structures with different sizes, layers, one-direction splicing and two-direction splicing are manufactured. The experimental results demonstrate that these new multi-stable structures not only reduce the geometric compatibility but also have better designability of layers and sizes. The principle of generating geometric compatibility and influence of transition element stiffness on multi-stable structures are analyzed, as well as the relationship between the number of deformed elements and the number of deformation states. The shapes of the new multi-stable structure can be any value in theory. In the experiments, the maximum number of shapes reached 10. The deformability is also enhanced in comparison with other multi-stable structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111580
Number of pages9
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Geometric compatibility
  • Multi-stable
  • Sectional layers
  • Transition elements


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