Realization of a novel morphing surface using additive manufacturing and its active control in friction

Motoyuki Murashima, Yusuke Imaizumi, Masato Kawaguchi, Noritsugu Umehara, Takayuki Tokoroyama, Toshiyuki Saito, Masayuki Takeshima, Yosuke Tsukiyama, Isami Nitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


As the need for higher efficiency of engineering components increases, so does the demand for functional surfaces. While various tribosurfaces (e.g., texturing and coatings) have been developed, many researches are aimed at static functionality. On the other hand, due to a wide range of environmental adaptability and active control, active-morphing surfaces can be highly efficient and robust. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel morphing surface and its realization using additive manufacturing (AM). By using a diaphragm structure, morphing performance is achieved even if a hard resin material is used. When air pressure is applied to the backside of the diaphragm, it changes to a convex shape and vice versa. The concept requires a complex structure for arranging airflow and a solid morphing system. The AM is one great technique to create such complex structures. As a result of actual manufacturing, the created morphing structure realizes a large morphing of 600 μm or more. In addition, the shape changes reversibly depending on the air pressure. The surface also exhibits very interesting tribological characteristics. The surface shows a friction coefficient of about 0.3 with a concavity, and then increases to 0.5-1.7 with a convexity. A real-contact area measurement reveals that the novel property occurs due to change in the real-contact area depending on surface morphology. In conclusion, the present paper provides a new concept of a novel morphing tribosurface, which selectively performs as a low-friction or break-like surface, created using AM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051104
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Active friction control
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Morphing surface
  • Real-contact area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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