Twisting a Cylindrical Sheet Makes It a Tunable Locking Material

Pan Dong, Mengfei He, Nathan C. Keim, Joseph D. Paulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A buckled sheet offers a reservoir of material that can be unfurled at a later time. For sufficiently thin yet stiff materials, this geometric process has a striking mechanical feature: when the slack runs out, the material locks to further extension. Here, we establish a simple route to a tunable locking material: a system with an interval where it is freely deformable under a given deformation mode, and where the endpoints of this interval can be changed continuously over a wide range. We demonstrate this type of mechanical response in a thin sheet formed into a cylindrical shell and subjected to axial twist and compression, and we rationalize our results with a simple geometric model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148201
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 6 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Twisting a Cylindrical Sheet Makes It a Tunable Locking Material'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this