Abstract

This paper presents thermally actuated hierarchical metamaterials with large linear and rotational motion made of passive solids. Their working principle relies on the definition of a triangular bi-material unit that uses temperature changes to locally generate in its internal members distinct rates of expansion that translate into anisotropic motions at the unit level and large deployment at the global scale. Obtained from solid mechanics theory, thermal experiments on fabricated proof-of-concepts and numerical analysis, the results show that introducing recursive patterns of just two orders of the hierarchy is highly effective in amplifying linear actuation at levels of nearly nine times the initial height, and rotational actuation of almost 18.5 times the initial skew angle.

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