Volume 87, Number 2, July 2009
Article Number 24001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 28 July 2009
EPL, 87 (2009) 24001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/87/24001

Structural properties of stiff elastic networks

G. Gurtner and M. Durand

Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC), UMR 7057 CNRS & Université Paris Diderot 10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France, EU

received 23 May 2009; accepted in final form 29 June 2009; published July 2009
published online 28 July 2009

Networks of elastic beams can deform either by stretching or bending of their members. The primary mode of deformation (bending or stretching) crucially depends on the specific details of the network architecture. In order to shed light on the relationship between microscopic geometry and macroscopic mechanics, we characterize the structural features of networks which deform uniformly, through the stretching of the beams only. We provide a convenient set of geometrical criteria to identify such networks, and derive the values of their effective elastic moduli. The analysis of these criteria elucidates the variability of mechanical response of elastic networks. In particular, our study rationalizes the difference in mechanical behavior of cellular and fiber networks.

46.70.De - Beams, plates, and shells.
46.70.-p - Application of continuum mechanics to structures.
87.16.Ka - Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies.

© EPLA 2009