Orientational ordering in crumpled elastic sheets
Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, MA 01003-3720, USA
Received: 15 May 2015
Accepted: 29 September 2015
We report an experimental study of the development of orientational order in a crumpled sheet, with a particular focus on the role played by the geometry of confinement. Our experiments are performed on elastomeric sheets immersed in a fluid, so that the effects of plasticity and friction are suppressed. When the sheet is crumpled either axially or radially within a cylinder, we find that the sheet aligns with the flat or the curved wall, depending on the aspect ratio of the cylinder. Nematic correlations develop between the normals of the sheet's facets at relatively low volume fractions and the crumpled object has large density fluctuations corresponding to the stacking of parallel facets. The aligning effect of the wall breaks symmetry and selects the direction of ordering.
PACS: 46.32.+x – Static buckling and instability / 46.70.Hg – Membranes, rods, and strings
© EPLA, 2015