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Microstructure-enabled control of wrinkling in nematic elastomer sheets

Plucinsky, Paul and Bhattacharya, Kaushik (2017) Microstructure-enabled control of wrinkling in nematic elastomer sheets. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 102 . pp. 125-150. ISSN 0022-5096.

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Nematic elastomers are rubbery solids which have liquid crystals incorporated into their polymer chains. These materials display many unusual mechanical properties, one such being the ability to form fine-scale microstructure. In this work, we explore the response of taut and appreciably stressed sheets made of nematic elastomer. Such sheets feature two potential instabilities – the formation of fine-scale material microstructure and the formation of fine-scale wrinkles. We develop a theoretical framework to study these sheets that accounts for both instabilities, and we implement this framework numerically. Specifically, we show that these instabilities occur for distinct mesoscale stretches, and observe that microstructure is finer than wrinkles for physically relevant parameters. Therefore, we relax (i.e., implicitly but rigorously account for) the microstructure while we regularize (i.e., compute the details explicitly) the wrinkles. Using both analytical and numerical studies, we show that nematic elastomer sheets can suppress wrinkling by modifying the expected state of stress through the formation of microstructure.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Plucinsky, Paul0000-0003-2060-8657
Bhattacharya, Kaushik0000-0003-2908-5469
Additional Information:© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. Received 25 November 2016, Revised 15 February 2017, Accepted 16 February 2017, Available online 20 February 2017. P.P. is grateful for the support of the NASA Space Technology Research Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Space Technology Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170313-074644448
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Official Citation:Paul Plucinsky, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Microstructure-enabled control of wrinkling in nematic elastomer sheets, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Volume 102, May 2017, Pages 125-150, ISSN 0022-5096, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75046
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Mar 2017 16:18
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:46

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