Slender structures of active materials

Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 9:00am - 9:40am
Kaushik Bhattacharya (California Institute of Technology)
Slender structures -- where one or more dimensions is much smaller than the others as in strings, rods, membranes, plates, shells etc.-- are common in nature, and have been widely exploited in engineering. The slenderness and the resulting flexibility juxtaposed with possible geometric constraints endows such structures with a rich range of mechanical response. Thus the study of the mechanics of slender structures is a subject with a long history. Much of this literature relates to materials whose constitutive response is relatively simple. The recent decades have seen the introduction and study of active materials that deform spontaneously in the presence of a stimulus. These materials including shape-memory alloys, ferroelectrics, electroactive polymers and nematic elastomers also have rich mechanics, but much of this mechanics has been explored in the context of simple uniaxial or bulk structures. This talk explores new phenomena that arise in slender structures of active materials and how this can be exploited in applications.
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