Research Topic

Nonlinear Structured Materials

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About this Research Topic

One way to incorporate nonlinear behaviour into a material is to incorporate internal mechanisms within it. By carefully designing these mechanisms, new "structured materials" can be created to have tunable, unique mechanical functionality. These "structural materials" are man-made and usually comprise ...

One way to incorporate nonlinear behaviour into a material is to incorporate internal mechanisms within it. By carefully designing these mechanisms, new "structured materials" can be created to have tunable, unique mechanical functionality. These "structural materials" are man-made and usually comprise repeating unit cells, which in concert, are programmed to facilitate extreme mechanical properties, often beyond those found in natural materials. In recent years, the community has seen a proliferation of interesting properties, such as negative Poisson’s ratio, negative incremental stiffness, and negative compressibility. However, the increased complexity of such materials naturally brings with it new theoretical and practical challenges, which requires a cross-disciplinary perceptive.

In this Research Topic we are particularly interested in ways in which mechanisms and instability phenomena can be exploited to create materials with new functionality. Traditionally, the understanding of such mechanisms / instabilities has been seen as structural response, rather a material one. These two research disciplines are often rooted in different university departments, e.g. Civil/Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Consequently, parallels in behaviour are often overlooked. Recently, however, there has been considerable cross-disciplinary research activity, and the objective of this Research Topic is to draw attention to and extend some of the latest work in this area.

This Research Topic will include original research papers and reviews which describe:

• New functional materials which exploit local structural mechanisms or instabilities to give unique material properties or behaviour.

• Studies of materials with internal length scales or structures which exhibit non-classical material responses: examples may include layered, granular or cellular media.

• New mathematical analysis/ numerical methods for modelling, designing or optimizing "structured materials"

• New manufacturing technologies for manufacturing "structured materials".


Keywords: instability, bifurcation, metamaterials, mechanisms, finite length scales


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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