Mechanical cloak design by direct lattice transformation

  • Author:

    T. Bückmann, M. Kadic, R. Schittny, and M. Wegener

  • Source:

    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 4930-4934 (2015)

  • Date: 6.04.2015
  • Abstract:

    Spatial coordinate transformations have helped simplifying mathematical issues and solving complex boundary-value problems in physics for decades already. More recently, material-parameter transformations have also become an intuitive and powerful engineering tool for designing inhomogeneous and anisotropic material distributions that perform wanted functions, e.g., invisibility cloaking. A necessary mathematical prerequisite for this approach to work is that the underlying equations are form invariant with respect to general coordinate transformations. Unfortunately, this condition is not fulfilled in elastic–solid mechanics for materials that can be described by ordinary elasticity tensors. Here, we introduce a different and simpler approach. We directly transform the lattice points of a 2D discrete lattice composed of a single constituent material, while keeping the properties of the elements connecting the lattice points the same. After showing that the approach works in various areas, we focus on elastic–solid mechanics. As a demanding example, we cloak a void in an effective elastic material with respect to static uniaxial compression. Corresponding numerical calculations and experiments on polymer structures made by 3D printing are presented. The cloaking quality is quantified by comparing the average relative SD of the strain vectors outside of the cloaked void with respect to the homogeneous reference lattice. Theory and experiment agree and exhibit very good cloaking performance.