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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X040666/1
Title: Mechanics and Design of Kirigami-Based Energy Dissipating Devices
Principal Investigator: Walker, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Explora Security Ltd Exsel Design and Integration Limited University of Edinburgh
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 October 2023 Ends: 30 September 2025 Value (£): 275,342
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 May 2023 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 3 and 4 May 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The response of a structure to extreme loads, such as an earthquake, explosive blast, or impact is critical to the design of many structures. Building regulations require designers to consider reasonably foreseeable extreme loading events and design the structure accordingly. In most cases it is not feasible, or economically viable, to design a structure to resist extreme loads undamaged. Therefore, a strategy to limit the extent of damage and prevent disproportionate collapse is adopted.

Energy-dissipating devices are incorporated into structures to absorb the energy from extreme events into easily replaceable elements. In seismic design passive supplemental damping systems consisting of devices such as hysteretic or viscus dampers can be incorporated without excessive cost. These devices dissipate seismic energy from the structure, reducing displacements and damage, but may need to be repaired or replaced after the event. For blast and impact scenarios, energy-dissipating systems can be adopted at a local level, for example in the cladding, to protect the main structural elements from excessive applied loads.

Kirigami is a form of origami that also includes cuts. This enables complex morphing 3D shapes to be generated from flat sheets. Pop-up greeting cards are a familiar example. Researchers in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, ranging from engineering to biochemistry, have been fascinated by the variety of shapes and exciting mechanical behaviours made possible through the simple act of locating cuts in a flat sheet of material.

This project builds on the surge of research into the mechanics of kirigami over the past ten years from the physics, applied mathematics, and engineering communities. While many kirigami studies highlight the potential of applications, so far these have not been realised. This project aims to translate the substantial body of fundamental research into kirigami mechanics to applications, specifically in structural engineering, by addressing the issues holding back the development of kirigami-based energy-dissipating devices, specifically the lack of predictive models and design methodologies for metallic kirigami structures. The results will then be applied to the design and testing of proof-of-concept devices for blast and earthquake protection of structures.

Understanding these phenomena, and the development of design methodologies, will broaden the range of materials used for, and the applications of kirigami benefiting the national and international kirigami community. While the applications considered in this project are within structural engineering, there are also natural applications in many other fields ranging from Mechanical and Aerospace engineering to packaging design broadening the applicability of this project's outputs. Furthermore, our society more broadly will benefit from the safer and more resilient infrastructure made possible using kirigami-based energy absorbers for blast and earthquake protection.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk