A ribbon model for nematic polymer networks

H. Singh and E. G. Virga

We present a theory of deformation of ribbons made of nematic polymer networks (NPNs). These materials exhibit properties of rubber and nematic liquid crystals, and can be activated by external stimuli of heat and light. A two-dimensional energy for a sheet of such a material has already been derived  from the celebrated neo-classical energy of nematic elastomers in three space dimensions. Here, we use a dimension reduction method to obtain the appropriate energy for a ribbon from the aforementioned sheet energy. We also present an illustrative example of a rectangular NPN ribbon that undergoes in-plane serpentine deformations upon activation under an appropriate set of boundary conditions. 

arXiv and journal

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