AZoM talks to Professor Hanqing Jiang about his research relating to the characterization of metamaterials based on the properties of origami and kirigami.
Please can you introduce yourself, your background, and how you began researching mechanical metamaterials?
My name is Hanqing Jiang, a professor of Engineering at Westlake University in China. Before joining Westlake University in June 2021, I was a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University from 2006 to 2021. I was brought to the research area of mechanical metamaterials when my group started working on origami in 2012.
Could you give an example of a ‘metamaterial’?
Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials with unusual properties. Specifically concerning mechanical metamaterials, they are materials with fascinating mechanical properties, such as a negative Poisson’s ratio and tunable stiffness.
What can be achieved with these materials? What industries do they apply to?
These materials can achieve unusual properties, such as tunable compressibility and deployability, which can be applied to many industrial sectors, such as robotics, aerospace, and biomechanical applications.
How do origami and kirigami differ?
Origami is paper folding; in Japanese, “ori” means “fold” and “gami” means “paper”. Kirigami is paper cutting; in Japanese, “kiri” means “cut”.
How did a study of metamaterials come to be associated with origami and kirigami?
The properties of origami and kirigami are mainly determined by how the crease patterns are made and just slightly depend on the material that folds the origami. They are by nature mechanical metamaterials.
Image Credit: Duet PandG/Shutterstock.com
Your research divides the metamaterials into two categories based on origami styles. Could you describe how these differentiations were made and why?
Rigid origami (also known as rigid foldable origami) involves folding and unfolding without deforming the origami panels. Deformable origami involves storing energy in both creases and panels during folding, and so it confers a complex energy landscape and mechanical performances.
Paper is typically used to prototype metamaterials. What disadvantages does this method pose and how does your research build on this?
Paper is a good starting point to study origami-based metamaterials. The lesson learned from paper-based origami can be translated into other materials.
More on Metamaterials: Developing a Highly Configurable Metamaterial with 3D Printing
What are the advantages of using origami and kirigami to characterize these materials?
It gives advantages in tuning the mechanical properties since the folding patterns can be altered based on the specific applications.
How could new origami and kirigami, particularly curved, hybrid, modular, and hierarchical designs, influence the future of different industries?
Metamaterials could be used in many applications, such as robotics, aerospace engineering, and biomedical applications. The beauty of origami and kirigami is that there are many combinations to incorporate geometrical patterns to specific applications in different length scales. It can be readily tailored for different applications.
What are the next steps for this subject matter? Do you hope to conduct further research around biofortification with nanotechnology?
The most exciting aspect of this research to me is curved origami, which provides a new dimension to tailor their mechanical properties. We are very interested in origami-based robotics and biomedical applications, which is indeed one of my active research areas at Westlake University.
Where can readers find more information?
This is a webinar I recently gave: https://imechanica.org/node/25538
About Professor Hanqing Jiang
I am a professor of engineering at Westlake University in China. Before joining Westlake University in June 2021, I was a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University from 2006 to 2021. I received his Ph.D. from Tsinghua University in 2001, majoring in Solid Mechanics. My current research interests include origami and kirigami-based mechanical metamaterials, mechanics of lithium-metal batteries, and unconventional electronics. I was elected to an ASME Fellow in 2016. I am the newly elected vice president of the Society of Engineering Science and will be the president of SES in 2022. He is a member of the executive committee of the Materials Division of ASME and will be the chair of this committee in 2025.
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