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Highly-stretchable 3D-architected Mechanical Metamaterials

Qiming Wang's picture

Highly-stretchable 3D-architected Mechanical Metamaterials

Abstract: Soft materials featuring both 3D free-form architectures and high stretchability are highly desirable for a number of engineering applications ranging from cushion modulators, soft robots to stretchable electronics; however, both the manufacturing and fundamental mechanics are largely elusive. Here, we overcome the manufacturing difficulties and report a class of mechanical metamaterials that not only features 3D free-form lattice architectures but also poses ultrahigh reversible stretchability (strain > 414%), 4 times higher than that of the existing counterparts with the similar complexity of 3D architectures. The microarchitected metamaterials, made of highly stretchable elastomers, are realized through an additive manufacturing technique, projection microstereolithography, and its postprocessing. With the fabricated metamaterials, we reveal their exotic mechanical behaviors: Under large-strain tension, their moduli follow a linear scaling relationship with their densities regardless of architecture types, in sharp contrast to the architecture-dependent modulus power-law of the existing engineering materials; under large-strain compression, they present tunable negative-stiffness that enables ultrahigh energy absorption efficiencies. To harness their extraordinary stretchability and microstructures, we demonstrate that the metamaterials open a number of application avenues in lightweight and flexible structure connectors, ultraefficient dampers, 3D meshed rehabilitation structures and stretchable electronics with designed 3D anisotropic conductivity.

Yanhui Jiang, Qiming Wang, Highly-stretchable 3D-architected Mechanical Metamaterials, Scientific Reports, 6, 34147, 2016.

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