An excursion into the design space of biomimetic architectured biphasic actuators

Sébastien Turcaud, Lorenzo Guiducci, Peter Fratzl, Yves J.M. Bréchet, John W.C. Dunlop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Natural hygromorph actuators, such as those found in the pine cone or in the awns of wheat and the storksbill, achieve a large variety of motions by controlling the distribution of swellable tissues inside their geometries. Such natural systems provide inspiration for the design of artificial actuators where swelling is triggered by any external expansion field. One way to achieve differential swelling inside a structure is to consider two elastic phases with different expansion properties and to apply a uniform expansion field. The resultant motion depends on the geometric distribution of the two phases and the cross-section of the structure. This paper uses the finite element method to explore how the geometry and symmetry of the initial structure controls the range of motion available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Materials Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuators
  • Architectured materials
  • Bilayer
  • Biomimetic
  • Symmetry

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