Title: A bi-stable rolling hinge for variable geometry structures

Authors: Maria Tupputi

Addresses: Department of Construction, Faculty of Architecture, University of Florence, Piazza Brunelleschi 6, 50122 Florence, Italy

Abstract: A rolamite hinge is made up of two rollers held by three tensioned bands attached to either part, with ends of each band terminating on opposite sides of the hinge, ensuring a no-slip condition. This paper investigates the existence of alternative forms of the rolamite hinge by changing the profile of the rollers. The aim is to achieve a bi-stable rolling hinge that can be used to build a variable geometry structure (VGS) and stabilise it at some configurations. This hinge consists of two prismatic blocks held by three wires; each wire is continuously wrapped around circle surfaces cut into a generic cross-section of both prismatic blocks. The relationships concerned in both design and mechanical behaviour are established to provide a proper use of the hinge. However, these relationships lead to a preliminary analysis of a deeper one that it should be carried out to build a physical model.

Keywords: bi-stable structural systems; bi-stable hinges; rolling hinges; variable geometry structure; VGS; structural engineering; rolamite hinges.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTRUCTE.2010.033484

International Journal of Structural Engineering, 2010 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.299 - 311

Published online: 02 Jun 2010 *

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