Growth, Form and Feel: Using Geometrical Principles to Manipulate the Shape and Mechanics of Elastic Sheets


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  • Speaker: Chris Santangelo (University of Massachusetts)
  • Host Department: Physics
  • Date: 09/10/2014
  • Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Location: 340 West Hall

  • Description:

    Recent experimental advances promise an era of “smart” materials based on controlling the patterning of heterogeneous structure in soft polymer films. As one example, I will discuss our group’s work on  “programming” flat films that autonomously buckle into prescribed three-dimensional shapes, including both smooth shapes and origami-like folded shapes. In particular, I will highlight some of the theoretical underpinnings driving the design of these responsive, self-folding materials. One possible application is in the fabrication of “mechanical metamaterials,” which, by virtue of their structure, can  exhibit mechanical properties rarely - if ever - found in nature. I will discuss our recent theoretical progress understanding the relationship between shape and mechanical response.