Folding energetics in thin-film diaphragms

G. Gioia, A. DeSimone, M. Ortiz, Alberto Cuitino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


We perform experiments to elucidate how the folding patterns of thin-film diaphragms subject to in-plane isotropic and anisotropic compressive strains depend on the shape, thickness and size of the diaphragms. We then use a constrained von Kármán model to relate the experimental results to the energetics of folding. We show that the differences between the isotropic and the anisotropic cases can be traced back to the structure of the membraneous energy density function. In the isotropic case, we find foldings which satisfy the boundary conditions and minimize the membraneous energy. In the anisotropie case, no such foldings exist, but we are able to construct sequences of increasingly fine foldings which satisfy the boundary conditions and whose membraneous energies converge to the infimum. In both cases, we obtain solutions by allowing bending to select a preferred folding. The solutions compare well with the experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1229
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2021
StatePublished - May 8 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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