PSU Mark
Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Chun Liu.

Title:Finite Element Simulation of Liquid Crystal Elastomers
Seminar:CCMA PDEs and Numerical Methods Seminar Series
Speaker:Robin Selinger, Kent State University
Finite Element Simulation of Liquid Crystal Elastomers: Modeling Actuators, Pumps, and Robots Robin L. B. Selinger Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH, 44242, USA Liquid crystal elastomers, sometimes called "artificial muscles," combine the elastic properties of rubber with the molecular order properties of liquid crystals. These soft actuators undergo strains of several hundred percent in response to changes in molecular orientational order. We present a novel simulation technique to model their shape change dynamics in three dimensions using finite element methods. The heart of the model is a Hamiltonian-based elastodynamics algorithm which includes coupling between strain and molecular orientational order. We use this approach to predict shape change induced by the isotropic/nematic transition and, in dye-doped materials, by exposure to light. Applying a wavelike modulation to the nematic order parameter, e.g. by heating the sample nonuniformly, induces mechanical undulation. We exploit this phenomenon to design and model prototype peristaltic pumps (e.g. for microfluidics applications) and self-propelled soft robots. We also present preliminary results on simulation studies of soft elastic response and microstructural evolution under applied strain. The long-term goal of this work is to build a bridge between basic soft matter theory and practical materials engineering/device design. Work supported by the US National Science Foundation DMR-0605889.

Room Reservation Information

Room Number:MB216
Date:11 / 05 / 2007
Time:03:35pm - 04:25pm