27 March 2018 Tile-based rigidization surface parametric design study
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Abstract
Inflatable technologies have proven useful in consumer goods as well as in more recent applications including civil structures, aerospace, medical, and robotics. However, inflatable technologies are typically lacking in their ability to provide rigid structural support. Particle jamming improves upon this by providing structures which are normally flexible and moldable but become rigid when air is removed. Because these are based on an airtight bladder filled with loose particles, they always occupy the full volume of its rigid state, even when not rigidized. More recent developments in layer jamming have created thin, compact rigidizing surfaces replacing the loose volume of particles with thinly layered surface materials. Work in this area has been applied to several specific applications with positive results but have not generally provided the broader understanding of the rigidization performance as a function of design parameters required for directly adapting layer rigidization technology to other applications. This paper presents a parametric design study of a new layer jamming vacuum rigidization architecture: tile-based vacuum rigidization. This form of rigidization is based on layers of tiles contained within a thin vacuum bladder which can be bent, rolled, or otherwise compactly stowed, but when deployed flat, can be vacuumed and form a large, flat, rigid plate capable of supporting large forces both localized and distributed over the surface. The general architecture and operation detailing rigidization and compliance mechanisms is introduced. To quantitatively characterize the rigidization behavior, prototypes rigidization surfaces are fabricated and an experimental technique is developed based on a 3-point bending test. Performance evaluation metrics are developed to describe the stiffness, load-bearing capacity, and internal slippage of tested prototypes. A set of experimental parametric studies are performed to better understand the impact of variations in geometric design parameters, operating parameters, and architectural variations on the performance evaluation metrics. The results of this study bring insight into the rigidization behavior of this architecture, and provide design guidelines and expose tradeoffs to form the basis for the design of tile-based rigidization surfaces for a wide range of applications.
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Laura Giner Munoz, Jonathan Luntz, Diann Brei, Wonhee Kim, "Tile-based rigidization surface parametric design study", Proc. SPIE 10602, Smart Structures and NDE for Industry 4.0, 106020L (27 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2300912; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300912
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