Morphing structures using soft polymers for active deployment

Stephen Daynes, Amy Grisdale, Annela Seddon, Richard Trask

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

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we take inspiration from morphing strategies observed in nature, origami design and stiffness tailoring principles in engineering, to develop a thin walled, low cost, bistable cell geometry capable of reversibly unfolding from a flat configuration to a highly textured configuration. Finite element analysis was used to model the cell deployment and capture the experimentally observed bistability of the reinforced silicone elastomer. Through the combination of flexible elastomers with locally reinforced regions enables a highly tailorable and controllable deployment response. These cells are bistable allowing them to maintain their shape when either deployed or retracted without sustained actuation. It is proposed that such deployable cells with reversible surfaces and texture change can be used as a means of adaptive camouflage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012001
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • adaptive camouflage
  • composites
  • elastic strain
  • elastomeric origami
  • multistability
  • stiffness tailoring


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