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Title: Delayed buckling of spherical shells due to viscoelastic knockdown of the critical load
We performed dynamic pressure buckling experiments on defect-seeded spherical shells made of a common silicone elastomer. Unlike in quasi-static experiments, shells buckled at ostensibly subcritical pressures, i.e. below the experimentally determined critical load at which buckling occurs elastically, often following a significant delay period from the time of load application. While emphasizing the close connections to elastic shell buckling, we rely on viscoelasticity to explain our observations. In particular, we demonstrate that the lower critical load may be determined from the material properties, which is rationalized by a simple analogy to elastic spherical shell buckling. We then introduce a model centred on empirical quantities to show that viscoelastic creep deformation lowers the critical load in the same predictable, quantifiable way that a growing defect would in an elastic shell. This allows us to capture how both the deflection at instability and the time delay depend on the applied pressure, material properties and defect geometry. These quantities are straightforward to measure in experiments. Thus, our work not only provides intuition for viscoelastic behaviour from an elastic shell buckling perspective but also offers an accessible pathway to introduce tunable, time-controlled actuation to existing mechanical actuators, e.g. pneumatic grippers.  more » « less
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Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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