Abstract

Large scale structures can benefit from the design of compliant joints that can provide flexibility and adaptability. A high level of deformation is achieved locally with the design of flexures in compliant mechanisms. Additionally, by introducing contact-aided compliant mechanisms, nonlinear bending stiffness is achieved to make the joints flexible in one direction and stiff in the opposite one. All these concepts have been explored in small scale engineering design, but they have not been applied to large scale structures. In this paper the design of a large scale compliant mechanism is proposed for novel design of a foldable shipping container. The superelasticity of nickel titanium is shown to be beneficial in designing the joints of the compliant mechanism.

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