Computational Soft Active Materials

Xuanhe Zhao, Harold Park, John Dolbow

Over the past few years, soft materials that are responsive to external stimuli such as temperature, PH, light, electric and magnetic fields have driven the scientific community into new and exciting directions. Large deformations of these soft active materials can offer the unique and exciting possibility to design multifunctional materials with novel properties. However, there exist substantial computational issues in modeling soft active materials, which arise due to intrinsic features of the materials such as large deformation, mass transport, multiple-field coupling, incompressible material response, and complex, coupled modes of instabilities. This symposium will therefore address recent advances in all aspects of computational techniques that enable new understanding and insights into the mechanics principles underlying the behavior of soft active materials.  We hope to bring together a vibrant community of researchers involved in the following topics to share the latest advancements in the field. Topics of particular interest include:

  • Electroactive and magnetoactive elastomers
  • Shape-memory polymers
  • Responsive gels and Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMC)
  • Liquid crystal elastomers and light-sensitive polymers
  • Other soft materials responsive to external stimuli
  • Soft structures including rods, plates, shells and biological structures
  • Geometric and material instabilities