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Anti-Hertz bulging of actuated liquid crystal elastomers

Mihai, L. Angela ORCID:, Gablier, Alexandra, Terentjev, Eugene and Goriely, Alain 2023. Anti-Hertz bulging of actuated liquid crystal elastomers. Extreme Mechanics Letters 64 , 102066. 10.1016/j.eml.2023.102066

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We consider the ‘anti-Hertz’ elastic problem of inverse indentation, which happens when the surface of an elastic material is pressed down with a plate with a round hole to form a bulge. This classical problem takes on a new life when a polydomain nematic liquid crystal elastomer is used. In this case, the nematic director aligns with the leading principal direction of local stress distribution created by bulging. When the deformed material is crosslinked a second time, this alignment pattern and the resulting permanent protrusion are preserved as pressure is removed, creating a bulge that can be reversibly actuated from a flat surface upon cooling. Experimentally, we also observe a dimple ring around the bulge and a punt (indentation) underneath it at the bottom. Theoretically, we model the deformation by coupling linear elastic and anelastic deformations using non-monotonic nematic elasticity and the singular stress-order relation of the polydomain-monodomain transition. The theory is in excellent agreement with the experiments, and predicts the emergence of all observed features.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Mathematics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2352-4316
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 14 August 2023
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2023 10:02

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