Isometric bending requires local constraints on free edges

29 Jun 2019  ·  Guven Jemal, Müller Martin Michael, Vázquez-Montejo Pablo ·

While the shape equations describing the equilibrium of an unstretchable thin sheet that is free to bend are known, the boundary conditions that supplement these equations on free edges have remained elusive. Intuitively, unstretchability is captured by a constraint on the metric within the bulk... Naively one would then guess that this constraint is enough to ensure that the deformations determining the boundary conditions on these edges respect the isometry constraint. If matters were this simple, unfortunately, it would imply unbalanced torques (as well as forces) along the edge unless manifestly unphysical constraints are met by the boundary geometry. In this paper we identify the source of the problem: not only the local arc-length but also the geodesic curvature need to be constrained explicitly on all free edges. We derive the boundary conditions which follow. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no need to introduce boundary layers. This framework is applied to isolated conical defects, both with deficit as well, but more briefly, as surplus angles. Using these boundary conditions, we show that the lateral tension within a circular cone of fixed radius is equal but opposite to the radial compression, and independent of the deficit angle itself. We proceed to examine the effect of an oblique outer edge on this cone perturbatively demonstrating that both the correction to the geometry as well as the stress distribution in the cone kicks in at second order in the eccentricity of the edge. read more

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Soft Condensed Matter