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Confined disclinations: exterior versus material constraints in developable thin elastic sheets



Confined disclinations: exterior versus material constraints in developable thin elastic sheets



Physical Review. E Statistical Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics 91(2): 022404



We examine the shape change of a thin disk with an inserted wedge of material when it is pushed against a plane, using analytical, numerical, and experimental methods. Such sheets occur in packaging, surgery, and nanotechnology. We approximate the sheet as having vanishing strain, so that it takes a conical form in which straight generators converge to a disclination singularity. Then, its shape is that which minimizes elastic bending energy alone. Real sheets are expected to approach this limiting shape as their thickness approaches zero. The planar constraint forces a sector of the sheet to buckle into the third dimension. We find that the unbuckled sector is precisely semicircular, independent of the angle δ of the inserted wedge. We generalize the analysis to include conical as well as planar constraints and thereby establish a law of corresponding states for shallow cones of slope ε and thin wedges. In this regime, the single parameter δ/ε^{2} determines the shape. We discuss the singular limit in which the cone becomes a plane, and the unexpected slow convergence to the semicircular buckling observed in real sheets.

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Accession: 057489318

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25768515

DOI: 10.1103/physreve.91.022404


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