University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Bio- and Micromechanics Seminars > The textured response of nematic elastomers and other strange solids

The textured response of nematic elastomers and other strange solids

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Nematic solids change their order when heated or illuminated and thereby elongate or contract by between 4 – 400%. They make interesting responsive cantilevers and, if they possess topological defects in their nematic fields, flat sheets can develop into shells with Gaussian curvature without stretch energy. Elastomeric nematic solids retain mobility of their ordering direction. Some large shears and elongations are achieved without energy cost by rotation of this direction. With boundary constraints, microstructure development is required to achieve such optimal deformations. Surprisingly, large soft deformations of polydomains can be achieved via texture evolution. We place bounds on their deformation energies, even for finite strains.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Bio- and Micromechanics Seminars series.

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