Hoberman-Sphere-Inspired Lattice Metamaterials with Tunable Negative Thermal Expansion

Yanyu Chen, Yangbo Li, Tiantian Li, Siyu Cao, Lifeng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus Citations


Materials with engineered thermal expansion coefficients, capable of avoiding failure or irreversible destruction of structures and devices, are important for aerospace, civil, biomedical, optics, and semiconductor applications. In natural materials, thermal expansion usually cannot be adjusted easily and a negative thermal expansion coefficient is still uncommon. Here we propose a novel architected lattice bi-material system, inspired by the Hoberman sphere, showing a wide range of tunable thermal expansion coefficient from negative to positive, -1.04 x 10-3 degrees C-1 to 1.0 x 10-5 degrees C-1. Numerical simulations and analytical formulations are implemented to quantify the evolution of the thermal expansion coefficients and reveal the underlying mechanisms responsible for this unusual behavior. We show that the thermal expansion coefficient of the proposed metamaterials depends on the thermal expansion coefficient ratio and the axial stiffness ratio of the constituent materials, as well as the bending stiffness and the topological arrangement of the constitutive elements. The finding reported here provides a new routine to design architected metamaterial systems with tunable negative thermal expansion for a wide range of potential applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)586-597
Number of pages12
JournalComposite Structures
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-71054


  • lattice
  • metamaterials
  • negative thermal expansion


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