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Directed force propagation in semiflexible networks

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Abstract

We consider the propagation of tension along specific filaments of a semiflexible filament network in response to the application of a point force using a combination of numerical simulations and analytic theory. We find the distribution of force within the network is highly heterogeneous, with a small number of fibers supporting a significant fraction of the applied load over distances of multiple mesh sizes surrounding the point of force application. We suggest that these structures may be thought of as tensile force chains, whose structure we explore via simulation. We develop self-consistent calculations of the point-force response function and introduce a transfer matrix approach to explore the decay of tension (into bending) energy and the branching of tensile force chains in the network.

Graphical abstract: Directed force propagation in semiflexible networks

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Article information


Submitted
26 Jun 2020
Accepted
03 Dec 2020
First published
08 Dec 2020

Soft Matter, 2021, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Directed force propagation in semiflexible networks

M. J. Grill, J. Kernes, V. M. Slepukhin, W. A. Wall and A. J. Levine, Soft Matter, 2021, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0SM01177K

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