Astronomy & Space Sciences

Title :

Development of mechanical metamaterials at the theoretical limit of isotropic elastic stiffness

Area of research :

Astronomy & Space Sciences

Focus area :

Materials Characterization

Contact info :


Executive Summary :

A wide variety of high performance applications require materials for which shape control is maintained under substantial stress and that have minimal density. Bioinspired hexagonal and square honeycomb structures and lattice materials based on repeating unit cells composed of webs or trusses, when made from materials of high elastic stiffness and low density, represent some of the lightest, stiffest and strongest materials available today. Recent advances in 3D printing and automated assembly have enabled such complicated material geometries to be fabricated at low (and declining) cost. These mechanical metamaterials have properties that are a function of their mesoscale geometry as well as their constituents, leading to combinations of properties that are unobtainable in solid materials; however, a material geometry that achieves the theoretical upper bounds for isotropic elasticity and strain energy storage (the Hashin–Shtrikman upper bounds) has yet to be identified. Here we need to evaluate the manner in which strain energy distributes under load in a representative selection of material geometries, to identify the morphological features associated with high elastic performance. Using finiteelement models, supported by analytical methods, and a heuristic optimization scheme, material geometry shall be identified that achieves the Hashin–Shtrikman upper bounds on isotropic elastic stiffness. The advantageous properties of low density mechanical metamaterials are: their mesoscale geometry can facilitate large crushing strains with high energy absorption, optical bandgaps and mechanically tunable acoustic bandgaps, high thermal insulation, buoyancy, and fluid storage and transport.


Dr.S.G.K.Manikandan, ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragir

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