Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar - Special Solid Mechanics Symposium
Soft composites offer new avenues for the design and fabrication of materials and devices that exhibit novel properties and functional behavior. Engineering the interplay between the geometrical structuring of constituent materials and the large deformation behavior of the soft matrix enables structural transformations and tunable properties. Here we explore the mechanics and the design of soft composites through analytical and numerical modeling as well as through experiments on physical prototypes fabricated using multi-material 3D printing.
Examples include: layered structures which exhibit deformation-induced transformation of the layered pattern leading to concomitant changes in other attributes to manipulate wave propagation and phononic band gaps; materials with alternating soft/stiff layered structures which provide protective yet flexible armor while also providing a novel material design for soft actuators which transform local compressive loading to large scale rotational motion; and soft matrices augmented by stiff particles which provide deformation-induced morphing surface topologies with engineered surface topologies with the potential to influence a wide range in surface behavior.