This paper aims at highlighting the fabrication procedures and proof-of-concept tests of a Kirigami inspired multi-stable composite laminate. Bistable composites consisting of asymmetric fiber layout have shown great potentials for shape morphing and energy harvesting applications. However, a patch of such a bistable composite is limited to very simple deformation when being snapped between its two stable equilibria (or states). To address this issue, this study investigates the idea of utilizing Kirigami, the ancient art of paper cutting, into the design and fabrication of bistable composite laminates. Via combining multiple patches of laminates and cutting according to prescribed Kirigami pattern, one can create a structure with multiple stable states and sophisticated deformation paths between them. This can significantly expand the application potentials of the multi-stable composites. This paper details the fabrication procedures for an elementary unit cell in the envisioned Kirigami composite and the results of proof-of-concept experiments, which measure the force required to switch the Kirigami composite between its different stable states. Preliminary results confirm that the Kirigami unit cell possesses multiple stable states depending on the underlying fiber layout. Each patch in the Kirigami composite could be snapped independently between stable states without triggering any undesired snapping in other patches. Moreover, a transient propagation of curvature change is observed when a patch in the Kirigami composite is snapped between its stable states. Such a phenomenon has not been reported in the bistable composite studies before. Results of this paper indicate that Kirigami is a powerful approach for designing and fabricating multi-stable composites with a strong appeal for morphing and adaptive systems. This paper highlights the feasibility and novelty of combining Kirigami art and bistable adaptive composites.

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