Emergence of instability-driven domains in soft stratified materials
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Li, Jian, Slesarenko, Viacheslav, & Rudykh, Stephan. (2022). Emergence of instability-driven domains in soft stratified materials. npj Computational Materials, 8(1), 100. doi:10.1038/s41524-022-00783-x
Nature frequently employs the buckling phenomenon to facilitate the formation of complicated patterns across length-scales. Current knowledge, however, is limited to a small set of buckling-induced microstructure transformations in soft composites; and the pattern formation phenomenon remains largely unknown for a vast pool of material morphologies. Here, we investigate the unexplored rich domain of soft heterogeneous composites. We experimentally observe the formation of instability-driven domains in stratified composites with a non-dilute stiff phase. We illustrate that the discovered domain patterns are energetically favorable over wrinkling. Moreover, we introduce a closed-form analytical expression allowing us to predict the evolution of the patterns in the post-buckling regime. Finally, we show that various patterns can be pre-designed via altering material compositions. These findings can help advance our understanding of the mechanisms governing pattern formations in soft biological tissues, and potentially enable the platform for mechanical metamaterials.