Within the scope of the research project "Flexible surface structures" sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), convertible systems based on elastic structural deformations were developed at the German Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) of the Stuttgart University. For this purpose, an interdisciplinary research team was working with references from nature. Flectofin® was derived from the pollination mechanism of the bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae). The continuously formable folding mechanism is used for convertible shading systems. The particularity is that all components of mechanics required for complex forming are combined in only one locally differentiated unit, thus dispensing with the need for delicate joints or complicated element joining.
Project team: Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design – Prof. Jan Knippers, Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg – Prof. Thomas Speck, Institute of Textile Technology and Prosess Engineering (ITV) – Markus Millwich, clauss markisen Projekt GmbH
Scientists: Julian Lienhard (ITKE), Simon Schleicher (ITKE), Simon Poppinga (PBG), Tom Masselter (PBG), Lena Müller (ITV), Julian Sartori (ITV)
Input of Julian Lienhard, str.ucture engineer: project application and head of the project, form-finding and structural design with finite elements simulation.