by Yuya Zhou / in MATERIAL & TECHNIQUE RELATED / on 01/30/2022

This is a material test I completed in 2021. Due to the material properties, I found that the strength and the resistance of the metal piece can get increased on the creases. The reason why is that once we fold the metal sheet, the small molecules along the fold line will create dislocations due to extrusion.

Just imagine, there are some tiny balls lying regularly. Between two balls, there is a line that grabs the ball and secures the ball’s location. When you fold the metal sheet, all the tiny balls on the inner side will squeeze together, so the distance between two balls becomes shorter ( getting dense). The outer side goes opposite way. In that case, you will find that it is almost impossible to flatten the metal piece back by using the same strength.

I start folding the metal sheet with my hands. I fold the metal, and flatten it. I notice that even the metal sheet is flattened again, there’s still a fold mark on the surface. The fold mark is like the unbreakable skeleton on the metal sheet.

The folding technique remains me of paper folding. I try to fold the paper first and then copy the process on metal sheet. By looking at the photos, you can easily tell the differences between paper folding and metal folding. There are some limitation of metal that stops the metal sheet going further.

Instead of making a specific object, I decide to focus on single repeating pattern. I change the direction of the curve and try to do the same thing on metal. However, it is too complicated for metal to complete the process.

Thus, I simplify the pattern and test on the metal sheet. It transfers successfully! And the metallic appearance brings a different feeling.

I made three of them and overlap them together. The metal sheets I use are thin aluminum sheets which could be folded easily by hand. Also because of the fold, the sculptural object is able to stand independently.

It can even be seated by rotating 90 degree! Now it becomes a cool bench!

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