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Published January 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Systematically Creased Thin-Film Membrane Structures


This paper presents a study of a square membrane, creased according to the Miura-ori folding pattern. When the membrane is allowed to expand from its packaged configuration, it initially expands elastically under zero corner forces. Starting from this naturally expanded configuration, the paper investigates the stress distribution and the load-displacement relationship when in-plane, diagonal loads are applied at the corners. It is found that out-of-plane bending is the main load-carrying mode and, for stress magnitudes typical of current solar-sail designs, the behavior of the membrane remains linear elastic. A simple analytical model, originally proposed for randomly creased membranes, is shown to predict with good accuracy the load-displacement relationship of the corners. It uses physically based and hence directly measurable membrane parameters.

Additional Information

© 2007 by Alessandro Papa and Sergio Pellegrino. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Presented as Paper 1975 at the 46th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Austin, Texas, 18–21 April 2005; received 18 June 2005; revision received 11 September 2006; accepted for publication 16 September 2006. We thank C.R. Steele for discussing aspects of the analytical model.

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