Reversible patterning of spherical shells through constrained buckling

J. Marthelot, P. T. Brun, F. López Jiménez, P. M. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Recent advances in active soft structures envision the large deformations resulting from mechanical instabilities as routes for functional shape morphing. Numerous such examples exist for filamentary and plate systems. However, examples with double-curved shells are rarer, with progress hampered by challenges in fabrication and the complexities involved in analyzing their underlying geometrical nonlinearities. We show that on-demand patterning of hemispherical shells can be achieved through constrained buckling. Their postbuckling response is stabilized by an inner rigid mandrel. Through a combination of experiments, simulations, and scaling analyses, our investigation focuses on the nucleation and evolution of the buckling patterns into a reticulated network of sharp ridges. The geometry of the system, namely, the shell radius and the gap between the shell and the mandrel, is found to be the primary ingredient to set the surface morphology. This prominence of geometry suggests a robust, scalable, and tunable mechanism for reversible shape morphing of elastic shells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025601
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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