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Final Report: Woodpile Mechanical Metamaterials for Sculpting Stress Waves


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The objective of this ARO)project was to explore the abundant possibilities of sculpting stress waves in mechanical nonlinear lattice structures represented by woodpile mechanical metamaterials and their derivatives. These nonlinear mechanical metamaterials offer an ideal setting for investigating the interplay among various geometrical and system parameters, such as disorder, nonlinearity, impurities, and resonance, in a controllable manner. This project specifically focused on three research themes: (i) Energy transport and localization mechanisms under the simultaneous influence of disorder and nonlinearity, (ii) Wave scattering and trapping in locally resonant woodpile systems for energy harvesting; and (iii) Turbulence-like energy cascade phenomena in woodpile system for impact mitigation purposes. All these tasks are closely linked under the theme of stress wave sculpting. The PIs investigated these fundamental wave dynamics by (i) an experimental design, prototyping, and testing by PI Yang; a theoretical understanding by PI Kevrekidis; and finally a numerical framework for simulating such settings, formulated by both teams. The findings from this study suggest that the woodpile or similar mechanical metamaterials allow us to better control the fundamental characteristics (e.g., waveform, speed, and frequency contents) of nonlinear waves, which can lead to creation of novel engineering devices, e.g., impact mitigator and wave filter.



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