Bistable compliant mechanism using magneto active elastomer actuation

Adrienne Crivaro, Robert Sheridan, Mary Frecker, Timothy W. Simpson, Paris Von Lockette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


One of the challenges in the emerging field of origami engineering is achieving large deformations to enable significant shape transformations. Bistable compliant mechanisms provide a means to achieve this, and the goal of this research is to investigate the feasibility and design of a compliant bistable mechanism that is actuated by magneto active elastomer material. When exposed to an external field, magneto active elastomer material deforms to align embedded magnetic particles with the field. We investigate a case study using magneto active elastomer actuation through the development of finite element analysis models to predict the magnetic field required to snap the device from its first stable position to its second for various geometries and field strengths. The finite element analysis model also predicts the displacement of the mechanism as it moves from one position to the other to determine whether the device is in fact bistable. These results can be used to understand the relationship between the substrate properties and the bistability of the device. The experimental results validate the finite element analysis models and demonstrate the functionality of active magneto active elastomer materials to be used as actuators for such devices and applications of origami engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2049-2061
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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