A planar rod model with flexible thin-walled cross-sections. Application to the folding of tape springs.

Abstract : This paper is focused on the modeling of rod-like elastic bodies that have an initially curved and thin-walled cross-section and that undergo important localized changes of the cross-section shape. The typical example is the folding of a carpenter's tape measure for which the folds are caused by the flattening of the cross-section in some localized areas. In this context, we propose a planar rod model that accounts for large displacements and large rotations in dynamics. Starting from a classical shell model, the main additional assumption consists in introducing an elastica kinematics to describe the large changes of the cross-section shape with very few parameters. The expressions of the strain and kinetic energies are derived by performing an analytical integration over the section. The Hamilton principle is directly introduced in a suitable finite element software to solve the problem. The folding, coiling and deployment of a tape spring is studied to demonstrate the ability of the model to account for several phenomena: creation of a single fold and associated snap-through behavior, splitting of a fold into two, motion of a fold along the tape during a dynamic deployment, scenarios of coiling and uncoiling of a bistable tape spring. This 1D model may also be relevant for future applications in biomechanics, biophysics and nanomechanics.
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Contributor : Stéphane Bourgeois <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 17, 2012 - 1:11:34 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 4, 2019 - 2:04:23 PM

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François Guinot, Stéphane Bourgeois, Bruno Cochelin, Laurent Blanchard. A planar rod model with flexible thin-walled cross-sections. Application to the folding of tape springs.. International Journal of Solids and Structures, Elsevier, 2012, 49 (1), pp.73--86. ⟨10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2011.09.011⟩. ⟨hal-00671391⟩



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