A homogenized bending theory for prestrained plates

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The presence of prestrain can have a tremendous effect on the mechanical behavior of slender structures. Prestrained elastic plates show spontaneous bending in equilibrium -- a property that makes such objects relevant for the fabrication of active and functional materials. In this paper we study microheterogeneous, prestrained plates that feature nonflat equilibrium shapes. Our goal is to understand the relation between the properties of the prestrained microstructure and the global shape of the plate in mechanical equilibrium. To this end, we consider a three-dimensional, nonlinear elasticity model that describes a periodic material that occupies a domain with small thickness. We consider a spatially periodic prestrain described in the form of a multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient. By simultaneous homogenization and dimension reduction, we rigorously derive an effective plate model as a {\Gamma}-limit for vanishing thickness and period. That limit has the form of a nonlinear bending energy with an emergent spontaneous curvature term. The homogenized properties of the bending model (bending stiffness and spontaneous curvature) are characterized by corrector problems. For a model composite -- a prestrained laminate composed of isotropic materials -- we investigate the dependence of the homogenized properties on the parameters of the model composite. Secondly, we investigate the relation between the parameters of the model composite and the set of shapes with minimal bending energy. Our study reveals a rather complex dependence of these shapes on the composite parameters.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages79
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2022
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External IDs

ArXiv 2203.11098