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We design bio-inspired periodic multilayer systems to create artificial hierarchical structures based on embedding vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in insulating and conductive Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films. We test the bulk mechanical and viscoelastic properties under quasistatic and dynamic loading, and characterize in-situ the related structural and electronic properties. The resulting systems show interesting mechanical properties characterized by flexibility, lightweight, damage tolerance, strain localization, large recovery and energy absorption under different loading conditions. We propose a discrete model where the tubes are represented by a 'nite collection of bistable nonlinear springs showing excellent agreement with the experimental results. We study the continuum limit within the framework of'-convergence.
Light refreshments will be served after the seminar