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Publication 23-CNA-016

A Dimensionally-Reduced Nonlinear Elasticity Model for Liquid Crystal Elastomer Strips with Transverse Curvature

Kevin LoGrande
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
Computation and Information Sciences Directorate
CCDC Army Research Lab

M. Ravi Shankar
Department of Industrial Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

Kaushik Dayal
Center for Nonlinear Analysis
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Abstract: Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs) are active materials that are of interest due to their programmable response to various external stimuli such as light and heat. When exposed to these stimuli, the anisotropy in the response of the material is governed by the nematic director, which is a continuum parameter that is defined as the average local orientation of the mesogens in the liquid crystal phase. This nematic director can be programmed to be heterogeneous in space, creating a vast design space that is useful for applications ranging from artificial ligaments to deployable structures to self-assembling mechanisms. Even when specialized to long and thin strips of LCEs – the focus of this work – the vast design space has required the use of numerical simulations to aid in experimental discovery. To mitigate the computational expense of full 3-d numerical simulations, several dimensionally-reduced rod and ribbon models have been developed for LCE strips, but these have not accounted for the possibility of initial transverse curvature, like carpenter’s tape spring. Motivated by recent experiments showing that transversely-curved LCE strips display a rich variety of configurations, this work derives a dimensionally-reduced 1-d model for pre-curved LCE strips. The 1-d model is validated against full 3-d finite element calculations, and it is also shown to capture experimental observations, including tape-spring-like localizations, in activated LCE strips.

Get the paper in its entirety as  23-CNA-016.pdf

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