Woven Compliant Composites

Woven Compliant Composites

Olga Mesa1, Saurabh Mhatre2, Martin Bechthold3
1Harvard Graduate School of Design & Roger Williams University 2Harvard Grad- uate School of Design & Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities 3Harvard Graduate School of Design

Compliant composites are a new approach to composite systems that leverage the semi-rigid properties of composite woven fabrics to create kinetic compliant mechanisms. In this paper by Olga Mesa, Saurabh Mhatre and Martin Bechthold, Simple fabrication and economic actuation principles are proposed to transform planar fabrics into three-dimensional configurations without using expensive molds, instead, relying on the millimeter-scale mechanical interactions of woven composite fabrics.

The relation between fabric type, weave, matrix, laminations, and localized reinforcement was studied to achieve repeatable, durable, and functional components that displayed instant transformations. Woven compliant mechanisms were patterned to create adjustable surfaces actuated uniaxially and biaxially producing different degrees of porosity.

The kinetic response is generated without the use of complicated mechanisms by relying on material properties and smart geometries. This system expands work on kinetic surfaces with the advantage of the ease of actuation and fabrication.

These surfaces can be used in architectural applications such as facades, shading mechanisms, and interior partitions where performative qualities are desirable.

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