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Issue 17, 2020
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Geometry underlies the mechanical stiffening and softening of an indented floating film

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Abstract

A basic paradigm underlying the Hookean mechanics of amorphous, isotropic solids is that small deformations are proportional to the magnitude of external forces. However, slender bodies may undergo large deformations even under minute forces, leading to nonlinear responses rooted in purely geometric effects. Here we study the indentation of a polymer film on a liquid bath. Our experiments and simulations support a recently-predicted stiffening response [D. Vella and B. Davidovitch, Phys. Rev. E, 2018, 98, 013003], and we show that the system softens at large slopes, in agreement with our theory that addresses small and large deflections. We show how stiffening and softening emanate from nontrivial yet generic features of the stress and displacement fields.

Graphical abstract: Geometry underlies the mechanical stiffening and softening of an indented floating film

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
12 Feb 2020
Accepted
27 Mar 2020
First published
31 Mar 2020

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 4121-4130
Article type
Paper

Geometry underlies the mechanical stiffening and softening of an indented floating film

M. M. Ripp, V. Démery, T. Zhang and J. D. Paulsen, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 4121
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00250J

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