Bending and warpage of elastic plates
Wood, Harrison Grant
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This thesis presents two studies on elastic plates. In the first study, we discuss the choice of elastic energies for thin plates and shells, an unsettled issue with consequences for much recent modeling of soft matter. Through consideration of simple deformations of a thin body in the plane, we demonstrate that four bulk isotropic quadratic elastic theories have fundamentally different predictions with regard to bending behavior. At finite thickness, these qualitative effects persist near the limit of mid-surface isometry, and not all theories predict an isometric ground state. We discuss how certain kinematic measures that arose in early studies of rod mechanics lead to coherent definitions of stretching and bending, and promote the adoption of these quantities in the development of a covariant theory based on stretches rather than metrics. In the second work, the effects of in-plane swelling gradients on thin, anisotropic plates are investigated. We study systems with a separation of scales between bending energy terms. Warped equilibrium shapes are described by two parameters controlling the spatial "rolling up'' and twisting of the surface. Shapes within this two-parameter space are explored, and it is shown that shapes will either be axisymmetric or twisted depending on swelling function parameters and material anisotropy. In some axisymmetric shapes, pitchfork bifurcations to twisted solutions are observed by varying these parameters. We also show that a familiar soft mode of the catenoid to helicoid transformation of an isotropic material no longer exists with material anisotropy.
General Audience Abstract
This thesis presents two studies on the subject of thin, elastic bodies, otherwise known as plates. Plate theory has important applications in many areas of life, ranging from the design and construction of civil structures to the mechanics of wrinkling sheets. In the first work, we discuss how different elastic plate theories have qualitatively different predictions on how a plate will behave when bent. We discuss the different physical implications of each model, and relate our findings to previous studies. Additionally, we promote the use of certain technical measures in the study of plates corresponding to the most coherent definitions of bending and stretching. In the second work, we study the effects of in-plane swelling gradients on elastic plates whose material stiffnesses vary with direction. Inspired by wood panels that warp when exposed to moisture, we model elastic plates exposed to various swelling patterns and determine the resulting warped shapes. We find that some shapes are axisymmetric, while others prefer to twist when exposed to moisture-induced swelling. By varying certain parameters of the swelling functions, or by increasing the material fiber stiffness, we also find a qualitative change in shape from an axisymmetric to a twisted surface.
- Masters Theses