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Published March 21, 2021 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Actuation of cylindrical nematic elastomer balloons


Nematic elastomers are programmable soft materials that display large, reversible, and predictable deformation under an external stimulus such as a change in temperature or light. While much of the work in the field has focused on actuation from flat sheets, recent advances in 3D printing and other methods of directed synthesis have motivated the study of actuation of curved shells. Snap-through buckling has been a topic of particular interest. In this work, we present theoretical calculations to motivate another mode of actuation that combines programmable soft materials as well as instabilities associated with large deformation. Specifically, we analyze the deformation of a cylindrical shell of a patterned nematic elastomer under pressure, show that it can undergo an enormous change of volume with changing temperature and suggest its application as a pump with extremely high ejection fraction.

Additional Information

© 2021 Published under license by AIP Publishing. Submitted: 21 December 2020; Accepted: 2 March 2021; Published Online: 19 March 2021. This paper is part of the Special Topic on Programmable Liquid Crystal Elastomers. We are grateful for the financial support of the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the MURI Grant No. FA9550-16-1-0566. Data Availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available within the article.

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Published - 5-0041288.pdf

Submitted - 2012_12873.pdf


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October 3, 2023
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