Shapeable sheet without plastic deformation

Naomi Oppenheimer, Thomas A. Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Randomly crumpled sheets have shape memory. In order to understand the basis of this form of memory, we simulate triangular lattices of springs whose lengths are altered to create a topography with multiple potential energy minima. We then deform these lattices into different shapes and investigate their ability to retain the imposed shape when the energy is relaxed. The lattices are able to retain a range of curvatures. Under moderate forcing from a state of local equilibrium, the lattices deform by several percent but return to their retained shape when the forces are removed. By increasing the forcing until an irreversible motion occurs, we find that the transitions between remembered shapes show cooperativity among several springs. For fixed lattice structures, the shape memory tends to decrease as the lattice is enlarged; we propose ways to counter this decrease by modifying the lattice geometry. We survey the energy landscape by displacing individual nodes. An extensive fraction of these nodes proves to be bistable; they retain their displaced position when the energy is relaxed. Bending the lattice to a stable curved state alters the pattern of bistable nodes. We discuss this shapeability in the context of other forms of material memory and contrast it with the shapeability of plastic deformation. We outline the prospects for making real materials based on these principles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052401
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

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