Magneto-active elastomers (MAEs) are polymers with magnetic particles that are capable of aligning with an external magnetic field; this self-alignment ability is one reason why MAEs can be used as actuators for folding or bending in origami engineering. The focus of this paper is on experimental characterization and finite element modeling of an MAE folding accordion structure. The goal is to understand the relationships among the applied magnetic field, displacement of the structure during actuation, and the resultant reaction force generated. This relationship is important for applications where force generation caused by the actuation of MAE structures is required.

Data show that force increases with increasing magnetic field, and the work done by the structure can also be calculated by integrating the force. Good agreement between the finite element analysis and experimental data is shown. Future methods for improving experimentation and modeling are discussed based on the results.

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