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Growth and shape control of disks by bending and extension

Seffen, KA and Maurini, C (2013) Growth and shape control of disks by bending and extension. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 61. pp. 190-204. ISSN 0022-5096

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Differential growth of thin elastic bodies furnishes a surprisingly simple explanation of the complex and intriguing shapes of many biological systems, such as plant leaves and organs. Similarly, inelastic strains induced by thermal effects or active materials in layered plates are extensively used to control the curvature of thin engineering structures. Such behaviour inspires us to distinguish and to compare two possible modes of differential growth not normally compared to each other, in order to reveal the full range of out-of-plane shapes of an initially flat disk. The first growth mode, frequently employed by engineers, is characterised by direct bending strains through the thickness, and the second mode, mainly apparent in biological systems, is driven by extensional strains of the middle surface. When each mode is considered separately, it is shown that buckling is common to both modes, leading to bistable shapes: growth from bending strains results in a double-curvature limit at buckling, followed by almost developable deformation in which the Gaussian curvature at buckling is conserved; during extensional growth, out-of-plane distortions occur only when the buckling condition is reached, and the Gaussian curvature continues to increase. When both growth modes are present, it is shown that, generally, larger displacements are obtained under in-plane growth when the disk is relatively thick and growth strains are small, and vice versa. It is also shown that shapes can be mono-, bi-, tri- or neutrally stable, depending on the growth strain levels and the material properties: furthermore, it is shown that certain combinations of growth modes result in a free, or natural, response in which the doubly curved shape of disk exactly matches the imposed strains. Such diverse behaviour, in general, may help to realise more effective actuation schemes for engineering structures. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div D > Structures
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:30
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 01:48