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Ribbon Formation in Twist-Nematic Elastomers

L. Teresi1 V. Varano1
1LaMS - Modelling & Simulation Lab, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Roma, Italy

A thin bar of TNEs undergoing shape transitions with temperature.

Nematic Elastomers (NEs) possess both the elastic properties of rubbers and the orientational properties of liquid crystals. Those two properties makes the configuration of NEs very sensitive to isotropic-nematic phase transition. Our goal is to replicate with numerical experiments the phenomena of shape formation in
Twist-Nematic Elastomers (TNEs): a flat bar evolves into a helicoidal shape and then jumps to a ribbon while temperature changes.

We model the TNEs in the framework of 3D non-linear elasticity with large distortions, and account for both chirality, de-swelling and temperature changes. We use three nested parametric sweep nodes to solve the model, thus enabling us to reproduce the whole process from solvent evaporation, to temperature variation, for a sequence of different geometries.

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