Stiff auxetics — Hierarchy as a route to stiff, strong lattice based auxetic meta-materials

Authors: Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope
Journal: Nature Scientific Reports, 8012437, 2018.
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Using a combination of analytic and computational methods, we examine the effect of adding hierarchical substructure to an auxetic lattice. Our novel methodology, involving a coarse grain approach, allows for the analysis of hierarchically sub-structured lattices where direct computation would prove intractable. We show that through hierarchy one can create ultra-lightweight auxetic meta-materials of high strength and stiffness. Through scaling law arguments, we show that the benefits of hierarchical design can also be obtained in the general class of bending-dominated lattices. Furthermore, we show that the hierarchical structures presented show a wide range of tailorability in their mechanical properties, and exhibit increased strength when optimised for buckling resistance. Auxetic materials have a broad range of potential applications, and thus the creation of ultra-light auxetic meta-materials with enhanced stiffness and strength is undoubtedly of practical importance.