3-10 – Stability of Soft Materials
Michel Destrade (NUI Galway), Valentina Balbi (NUI Galway), Alain Goriely (University of Oxford)
Soft materials such as gels, elastomers, and biological soft tissues may experience elastic instabilities when subjected to forces. For instance, during the early developmental stages, biological tissues grow and remodel, leading to the accumulation of internal residual stresses. To minimise its energy, the tissue can undergo an elastic instability associated with a change of shape and a release of residual stresses. This mechanism is commonly observed for instance in the gastro-intestinal system, the respiratory system, and the brain. From an engineering point of view, wrinkling and buckling in elastomers and rubbers are phenomena that may improve mechanical performance or that must be avoided, depending on the applications. It is therefore crucial to improve our understanding of the physical and mathematical principles behind these behaviours by developing reliable mathematical models, able to predict the onset and evolution of instabilities in soft materials. This mini-symposium aims at identifying current modelling approaches in the field, from the theoretical, numerical, and experimental viewpoints, with a view to open new paths towards a better understanding of these spectacular and intriguing phenomena.