Thursday, May 30, 2013

1305.6618 (Ee Hou Yong et al.)

Elastic Platonic Shells    [PDF]

Ee Hou Yong, David R. Nelson, L. Mahadevan
On microscopic scales, the crystallinity of flexible tethered or cross linked membranes determines their mechanical response. We show that by controlling the type, number and distribution of defects on a spherical elastic shell, it is possible to direct the morphology of these structures. Our numerical simulations show that by deflating a crystalline shell with defects, we can create elastic shell analogs of the classical Platonic solids. These morphologies arise via a sharp buckling transition from the sphere which is strongly hysteretic in loading-unloading. We construct a minimal Landau theory for the transition using quadratic and cubic invariants of the spherical harmonic modes. Our approach suggests methods to engineer shape into soft spherical shells using a frozen defect topology.
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