Design, modeling and characterization of multi-stable metastructures for shape reconfiguration and energy absorption

Y. Zhang

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

176 Downloads (Pure)


Multi-stable beam-type metastructures exhibiting snap-through behavior have been extensively studied in recent years , as their stable states can be maintained without the need of external power supply. By arranging a series of beams exhibiting bi-stability, multi-stable metastructures can be constructed. However, current designs of multi-stable metastructures are limited in terms of structural kinematics and the associated functionalities are not fully explored. This thesis aims to present design strategies that can facilitate new kinematic behavior and functionalities for multi-stable metastructures (i.e., energy absorption and shape reconfiguration). Specifically, we investigate the additional rotational degrees of freedom by incorporating rotational compliance in both 2D and 3D designs. In doing so, multi-stable metastructures are capable of realizing both translational and rotational motion, facilitating their applicability in soft robotics and deployable structures. Moreover, the energy dissipation of multi-stable metastructures are studied, where we have proposed design strategies that can enhance the energy absorption without using more materials. In addition, it is demonstrated that multi-stable metastructures can also be designed to realize shape reconfiguration of a morphing surface, where the stability requirement and accessible configurations have been presented. Such multi-stable metastructures exhibiting translational and rotational degrees of freedoms hold great potential for developing reconfigurable structures and energy absorbers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Keulen, A., Supervisor
  • Tichem, M., Supervisor
Award date17 Jan 2022
Print ISBNs978-94-6384-286-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • multi-stable metastructures
  • snap-through
  • translational and rotational states
  • energy absorption
  • shape reconfiguration


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