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Achieving adjustable elasticity with non-affine to affine transition
Nature Materials  (IF43.841),  Pub Date : 2021-07-01, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-021-01046-8
Xiangying Shen, Chenchao Fang, Zhipeng Jin, Hua Tong, Shixiang Tang, Hongchuan Shen, Ning Xu, Jack Hau Yung Lo, Xinliang Xu, Lei Xu

For various engineering and industrial applications it is desirable to realize mechanical systems with broadly adjustable elasticity to respond flexibly to the external environment. Here we discover a topology-correlated transition between affine and non-affine regimes in elasticity in both two- and three-dimensional packing-derived networks. Based on this transition, we numerically design and experimentally realize multifunctional systems with adjustable elasticity. Within one system, we achieve solid-like affine response, liquid-like non-affine response and a continuous tunability in between. Moreover, the system also exhibits a broadly tunable Poisson’s ratio from positive to negative values, which is of practical interest for energy absorption and for fracture-resistant materials. Our study reveals a fundamental connection between elasticity and network topology, and demonstrates its practical potential for designing mechanical systems and metamaterials.