JOURNAL PUBLICATION: Integration of kinks and creases enables tunable folding in meta-ribbons

You can read about our important work on the mechanics of kinks and creases now in Matter. Free downloads here

•The nonlinear folding behaviors of annular ribbons are comprehensively investigated
•The folding mechanism and bifurcation type of elastic annular ribbons are uncovered
•The meta-ribbon is created by integrating in-plane kinks and out-of-plane creases
•The tunable dynamic folding behavior of a meta-ribbon is achieved

Progress and potential
Exploring how thin structures fold can lead to innovative technologies in fields like soft robotics, flexible electronics, and space deployable systems. By studying the mechanics of folding in elastic ribbons, through discrete model, theory, and experiment, we uncovered that different types of folds, i.e., in-plane kinks and out-of-plane creases, initiate folding in distinct ways and correspond to different types of bifurcation. We also found that by combining these folds strategically, we can create “meta-ribbons,” which can fold smoothly or abruptly based on how they are engineered. This tunability opens doors for advantages like controllable dynamic folding and transitions among different stable states, offering exciting possibilities for future technologies.