Geometry-induced rigidity and functionality in thin elastic shells
October 9, 2012 - 11:00am
Klaus 1116 East
I will present some recent results from our Lab on the mechanical response of complex-shaped shells subject to loading and in different mechanical environments (with or without an in-out pressure difference). A powerful aspect of our experimental approach is that the geometry and material properties of our shells can be accurately custom-controlled using digital rapid prototyping techniques. First, we focus on the linear response of non-spherical shells under indentation to explore the new concept of geometry-induced rigidity. Despite the complex geometries, we find a remarkable predictive description. Moreover, we investigate universal modes of localization under large displacements. Finally, I will introduce a new class of micro-structured shells, the Buckliball, which undergo a structural transformation induced by buckling under pressure loading. The common underlying feature in these various problems is the prominence of geometry in dictating the mechanical response in thin elastic shells.