Nonlinear geometric effects in mechanical bistable morphing structures

Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Sep 14;109(11):114302. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.114302. Epub 2012 Sep 14.


Bistable structures associated with nonlinear deformation behavior, exemplified by the Venus flytrap and slap bracelet, can switch between different functional shapes upon actuation. Despite numerous efforts in modeling such large deformation behavior of shells, the roles of mechanical and nonlinear geometric effects on bistability remain elusive. We demonstrate, through both theoretical analysis and tabletop experiments, that two dimensionless parameters control bistability. Our work classifies the conditions for bistability, and extends the large deformation theory of plates and shells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Droseraceae
  • Elasticity
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics