Over the past few decades, folding paper has extended beyond the origami deployable applications to reach the engineering field. Nevertheless, mechanical information about paper behavior is still lacking, especially during folding/unfolding. This article proposes an approach to characterize the paper fold behavior in order to extract the material data that will be needed for the simulation of folding and to go a step further the single kinematics of origami mechanisms. The model developed herein from simple experiments for the fold behavior relies on a macroscopic local hinge with a nonlinear torsional spring. Though validated with only straight folds, the model is still applicable in the case of curved folds thanks to the locality principle of the mechanical behavior. The influence of both the folding angle and the fold length is extracted automatically from a set of experimental values exhibiting a deterministic behavior and a variability due to the folding process. The goal is also to propose a methodology that may extend the simple case of the paper crease, or even the case of thin material sheets, and may be adapted to other identification problems.

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