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Cafe Scientifique-Origami and Its Engineering Applications

20th June 2017

Cafe Scientifique-Origami and Its Engineering Applications

A Talk by Professor Zong Yhou, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University.

In recent decades origami folding, a traditional art form of paper folding, has been of increasing interest to engineers. It has been found that the formation of origami structures and the shape change capability of some origami objects can be readily parameterised and applied to the development of new structures and devices. Since most of the sheet materials used in engineering applications are relatively rigid in comparison with paper, particular attention has been drawn on to rigid origami, a subset of origami that permit continuous motion between folded states along the pre-determined folding creases without the need for twisting or stretching of the facets. This allows the patterns to be readily manufactured from modern materials such as plastic, metal, or carbon-fibre sheets, producing patterns that are sufficiently strong and durable to be of use in large-scale applications.

In this talk, Dr Yhou will focus on two types of origami structures, one being the origami morphing structures that are capable of large shape changes, whilst the other the tubular and sandwich structures where origami is used to design such structures to acquire superior mechanical properties. He will show that not only can origami technique be effectively exploited to develop novel foldable structures, but it can be used to induce a particular failure mode that leads to a higher energy absorption capability. The talk concludes with some remarks on future research directions.

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