Anisotropic textiles are commonly used in wearable applications to achieve varied bi-axial stress-strain behavior around the body. Auxetic textiles, specifically those that exhibit a negative Poisson’s ratio (v), likewise exhibit intriguing behavior such as volume increase in response to impact or variable air permeability. Active textiles are traditional textile structures that integrate smart materials, such as shape memory alloys, shape memory polymers, or carbon nanotubes, to enable spatial actuation behavior, such as contraction for on-body compression or corrugation for haptic feedback. This research is a first experimental investigation into active auxetic and shearing textile structures. These textile structures leverage the bending- and torsional-deformations of the fibers/filaments within traditional textile structures as well as the shape memory effect of shape memory alloys to achieve novel, spatial performance. Five textile structures were fabricated from shape memory alloy wire deformed into needle lace and weft knit textile structures. All active structures exhibited anisotropic behavior and four of the five structures exhibited auxetic behavior upon free recovery, contracting in both x- and y-axes upon actuation (v = −0.3 to −1.5). One structure exhibited novel shearing behavior, with a mean free angle recovery of 7°. Temperature-controlled biaxial tensile testing was conducted to experimentally investigate actuation behavior and anisotropy of the designed structures. The presented design and performance of these active auxetic, anisotropic, and shearing textiles inspire new capabilities for applications, such as smart wearables, soft robotics, reconfigurable aerospace structures, and medical devices.

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