Illuminating Origins of Impact Energy Dissipation in Mechanical Metamaterials

Peter Vuyk, Shichao Cui, Ryan L. Harne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Elastomeric mechanical metamaterials have revealed striking ability to attenuate shock loads at the macroscopic level. Reports suggest that this capability is associated with the reversible elastic buckling of internal beam constituents observed in quasistatic characterizations. Yet, the presence of buckling members induces non-affine response at the microscale, so that clear understanding of the exact energy dissipation mechanisms remains clouded. In this report, the authors examine a mechanical metamaterial that exhibits both micro- and macroscopic deformations under impact loads and devise an experimental method to visualize the resulting energy dissipation mechanisms. By illuminating the dynamic distribution of strain in the metamaterial, the authors uncover a rational way to program the macroscopic deformation and enhance impact mitigation properties. The results emphasize that mechanical metamaterials clearly integrate materials science and structural engineering, encouraging future interdisciplinary studies to capitalize on the opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700828
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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