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Finite Element Analysis of Electroactive Polymer and Magnetoactive Elastomer Based Actuation for Origami-Inspired Folding

[+] Author Affiliations
Wei Zhang, Saad Ahmed, Sarah Masters, Zoubeida Ounaies, Mary Frecker

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. SMASIS2016-9053, pp. V001T01A001; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Multifunctional Materials; Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring
  • Stowe, Vermont, USA, September 28–30, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5048-0
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


With the development of smart materials such as electroactive polymers and magnetoactive elastomers, active origami structures, where desired folded shapes can be achieved using external electric and magnetic stimuli, are showing promising potential in many engineering applications. In this study, finite element analysis (FEA) models are developed in 3-D using COMSOL Multiphysics software for unimorph bending and folding actuated using a single external field, and a bi-fold configuration which is actuated using multi-field stimuli. The objectives of the study are: 1) to investigate folding behavior and effects of geometric parameters, and 2) to maximize actuation for a given stimulus. Experimentally determined mechanical pressures and moments are applied as external loads to simulate electric and magnetic fields, respectively. Good agreement is obtained in the tip displacement and folding angles between the simulation and experiments, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the FEA model.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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