Applied Mechanics Colloquia Applied Physics Colloquia

Building With Fluids: A Lazy Approach to Fabrication

PT Brun (Princeton University)

Sep 16, 2022
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | Pierce Hall, 209 | Remote option

In nature, organized arrays of elements arise spontaneously from the interactions between their component parts, e.g. reaction-diffusion problems, clustering colloidal particles and granular media, wrinkling surfaces, propagating cracks and flowing liquids. In the wake of biomimicry, I will discuss several strategies aiming to harness mechanical instabilities in flowing liquids, e.g. coiling, droplet formation, digitation, drainage, capillary suction, and use the regular shapes and universally self-organized patterns they naturally produce as templates for materials design. These flows are “frozen” as the liquids we use solidify into solids, e.g., through curing, cooling or evaporation. The shapes and patterns they form are universal and transcend the traditional divisions between scientific fields or even between living and inert matter. I will show that these similarities result from the mathematical analogies in the rules that govern pattern formation. In turn, I will demonstrate how to compose with these rules to augment our manufacturing capabilities, e.g. in soft robotics.


Douglas Woodhouse