Friday, 08 July 2022 12:00

In-person event – venue MSG-024/25, Bernal Institute.
On-line via MS Teams

Bioinspired Manufacturing of Non-Euclidean Morphologies using Tow-steered Composites

High-value manufacturing processes for engineering materials used in the aerospace, automotive, and wind energy sectors generally attempt to minimise process-induced residual stresses. These residual stresses occur, for example, in the quenching of metals or during the curing process of layered fibre-reinforced plastics. Nature, on the other hand, astutely exploits residual stresses in its manufacturing processes, i.e., growth & atrophy, swelling & shrinkage, and material remodelling. In particular, differential growth that varies in space and/or in time across a growing body leads to internal residual stresses that cause complex geometric patterns through bending, wrinkling, and/or folding. Examples include the fractal rippling at the edges of leaves, the wrinkling of multilayered tissues (e.g., human skin), and the gyrification of the cerebral cortex. There is thus immense potential in applying insights from developmental biology to reimagine industrial production processes in cleaner and more sustainable ways. This seminar will firstly present a morphoelastic stability framework based on the finite element method that is used to uncover the governing role that spatially varying differential growth plays in the wrinkling and folding of slender, growing biomaterials. This mechanical insight is then applied to create analogue systems that exploit the spatially varying thermal expansion of tow-steered composites to morph Euclidean planforms into complex non-Euclidean geometries.


Dr Rainer Groh is a lecturer in Digital Engineering of Structures at the University of Bristol and holds a prestigious research fellowship awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering in recognition of his achievements as an early career researcher and to date has published 46 peer-reviewed journal articles. As a Chartered Engineer he also collaborates closely with industrial partners Airbus, Embraer, ESA & NASA.

Dr Jiajia Shen is a research associate working on well-behaved nonlinear structures at the University of Bristol, under the direct supervision of Dr Rainer Groh. To date, he has published 10 peerreviewed journal articles as lead author in the field of computational and experimental nonlinear mechanics.

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