Structural and Smart Materials Analysis in Responsive Architectural and Textile Mechanical Applications
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The @lab is a group dedicated to the research and development of electronic textiles for architectural applications; this thesis presents the structural analyses performed by the author to improve the @lab’s projects. Also included are three investigations performed by the author that pertain to smart material applications in responsive architecture and textiles. The first investigation evaluated the feasibility of using piezoelectric materials to harvest power from human foot traffic; overall, it was determined to not be feasible. The second investigation experimentally tested how six parameters of shape memory alloy spring actuators affect their reaction times and stroke; all six parameters affected the reaction times and/or stroke. The third investigation experimentally tested how three parameters of superelastic SMA springs influence their stiffness and resonant frequencies; overall, it was found that traditional spring mechanics can be used to predict their behavior providing the internal stress does not reach the upper plateau stress.