Active origami designs, which incorporate smart materials such as electroactive polymers (EAPs) and magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) into mechanical structures, have shown good promise in engineering applications. In this study, finite element analysis (FEA) models are developed using COMSOL Multiphysics software for two configurations that incorporate a combination of active and passive material layers, namely: 1) a single-notch unimorph folding configuration actuated using only external electric field and 2) a bimorph configuration which is actuated using both electric and magnetic (i.e. multifield) stimuli. Constitutive relations are developed for both electrostrictive and magnetoactive materials to model the coupled behaviors directly. Shell elements are adopted for their capacity of modeling thin films, reduction of computational cost and ability to model the intrinsic coupled behaviors in the active materials under consideration. A microstructure-based constitutive model for electromechanical coupling is introduced to capture the nonlinearity of the EAP’s relaxor ferroelectric response; the electrostrictive coefficients are then used as input in the constitutive modeling of the coupled behavior. The magnetization of the MAE is measured by experiment and then used to calculate magnetic torque under specified external magnetic field. The objective of the study is to verify the effectiveness of the constitutive models to simulate multi-field coupled behaviors of the active origami configurations. Through quantitative comparisons, simulation results show good agreement with experimental data, which is a good validation of the shell models. By investigating the impact of material selection, location, and geometric parameters, FEA can be used in design, reducing trial-and-error iterations in experiments.

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