Flex a Rainbow

Chun Meng Goh, Doctoral Candidate

      
  
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    Flexure or bending of an elastic rubber beam is simple in action, but fascinatingly complex in theoretical and computational mechanics. In order to bend a beam, one of the lateral faces of the beam is under compression while the other lateral face undergoes extension, forming a circular arc shape. The compression and extension of a beam corresponds to the development of internal stresses, which when we take the average of these stresses, a rainbow across the lateral faces is obtained! This average stress profile is important in determining the strength of a material under both compression and extension and found major applications in biomedical engineering industry. 

 

Flexure or bending of an elastic rubber beam is simple in action, but fascinatingly complex in theoretical and computational mechanics. In order to bend a beam, one of the lateral faces of the beam is under compression while the other lateral face undergoes extension, forming a circular arc shape. The compression and extension of a beam corresponds to the development of internal stresses, which when we take the average of these stresses, a rainbow across the lateral faces is obtained! This average stress profile is important in determining the strength of a material under both compression and extension and found major applications in biomedical engineering industry.