Compliant mechanisms of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) have been developed to reduce the mechanical complexity of kinetic systems. In a further step, pneumatic actuation was integrated into the set-up of the FRP, offering lightweight, slender, and inconspicuous actuation. Inflation of an integrated cushion causes rotation through the asymmetric material lay-up. Inspiration from the ultrastructure of pressurized veins in arthropod wings has led to the development of a thin layer of elastomer surrounding this pneumatic cushion to avoid delamination. T-peel tests revealed that the elastomer forms a higher adhesion to itself than to glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) layers with an epoxy matrix. The angle-pressure relationship for specific GFRP samples with a defined compliant hinge zone was investigated physically and numerically, showing good consistency between the two. Further, a mathematical model, taking into account the bending stiffness of the cushion-surrounding FRP layers, was developed, and a parametric study was conducted on the actuation angles.

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