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Polymers 2017, 9(6), 229; doi:10.3390/polym9060229

Pattern Switching in Soft Cellular Structures and Hydrogel-Elastomer Composite Materials under Compression

1
International Center for Applied Mechanics, State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structure, Shaanxi Engineering Research Center of Nondestructive Testing and Structural Integrity Evaluation, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
2
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rui Xiao, Jinlian Hu and Chih-Feng Huang
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionally Responsive Polymeric Materials)
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Abstract

It is well known that elastic instabilities induce pattern transformations when a soft cellular structure is compressed beyond critical limits. The nonlinear phenomena of pattern transformations make them a prime candidate for controlling macroscopic or microscopic deformation and auxetic properties of the material. In this present work, the novel mechanical properties of soft cellular structures and related hydrogel–elastomer composites are examined through experimental investigation and numerical simulations. We provide two reliable approaches for fabricating hydrogel–elastomer composites with rationally designed properties and transformed patterns, and demonstrate that different geometries of the repeat unit voids of the periodic pattern can be used to influence the global characteristics of the soft composite material. The experimental and numerical results indicate that the transformation event is dependent on the boundary conditions and material properties of matrix material for soft cellular structures; meanwhile, the deformation-triggered pattern of matrix material affects the pattern switching and mechanical properties of the hydrogel–elastomer material, thus providing future perspectives for optimal design, or serving as a fabrication suggestion of the new hydrogel–elastomer composite material. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft periodic structures; composite hydrogel–elastomer materials; pattern switching; mechanical properties soft periodic structures; composite hydrogel–elastomer materials; pattern switching; mechanical properties
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hu, J.; Zhou, Y.; Liu, Z.; Ng, T.Y. Pattern Switching in Soft Cellular Structures and Hydrogel-Elastomer Composite Materials under Compression. Polymers 2017, 9, 229.

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