The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

A prototypical model for tensional wrinkling in thin sheets

Davidovitch, B. and Schroll, R. D. and Vella, D. and Adda-Bedia, M. and Cerda, E. (2011) A prototypical model for tensional wrinkling in thin sheets. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA . (Submitted)



The buckling and wrinkling of thin films has recently seen a surge of interest among physicists, biologists, mathematicians and engineers. This has been triggered by the growing interest in developing technologies at ever decreasing scales and the resulting necessity to control the mechanics of tiny structures, as well as by the realization that morphogenetic processes, such as the tissue-shaping instabilities occurring in animal epithelia or plant leaves, often emerge from mechanical instabilities of cell sheets. While the most basic buckling instability of uniaxially compressed plates was understood by Euler more than 200 years ago, recent experiments on nanometrically thin (ultrathin) films have shown significant deviations from predictions of standard buckling theory. Motivated by this puzzle, we introduce here a theoretical model that allows for a systematic analysis of wrinkling in sheets far from their instability threshold. We focus on the simplest extension of Euler buckling that exhibits wrinkles of finite length - a sheet under axisymmetric tensile loads. This geometry, whose first study is attributed to Lam´e, allows us to construct
a phase diagram that demonstrates the dramatic variation of wrinkling patterns from near-threshold to far-from-threshold conditions. Theoretical arguments and comparison to experiments show that for thin sheets the far-from-threshold regime is expected to emerge under extremely small compressive loads, emphasizing the relevance of our analysis for nanomechanics applications.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > General
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics
ID Code:1430
Deposited By: Peter Hudston
Deposited On:15 Nov 2011 08:38
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:07

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