Anything made out of paper is generally thought to be structurally weak, but with skilful folding, paper can gain unexpected strength.
The Japanese art of origami, or paper folding, has long been admired for its ingenuity, but this traditional pastime is now providing the basis for the foundation of a new technology. Two years ago, Professor Hideyuki Ohtaki, a teacher in mechanical engineering at Saitama University, and his students began conducting research into paper structures. They discovered that long triangular cylinders threaded horizontally through a collection of hexagons produced a strong structure that resisted twisting -- strong enough to hold the weight of a person. A tricycle made entirely out of recycled paper, using joints made from paper cups, was among the objects built to demonstrate the strength of their chosen material. With a fire and water resistant coating, paper could be used in unique ways giving it new options for the years ahead.
CU flimsy pieces of paper;
Paper being folded into strong structure;
Strong paper taking weight of apple;
Exterior of Saitama University;
Interior shot of researchers in meeting;
SOT Professor Hideyuki Ohtaki: "Compared to metals, paper is extremely light-weight and easy to recycle. These advantages create various possibilities for the use of strong paper structures."
Student cutting out paper shapes,
CU paper structure being made on desk,
CU completed structure, strength of structure being demonstrated;
Person standing on strong paper structure;
VS tricyle made from paper;
VS strong paper structures;
VS of paper structures.
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