Sébastien Neukirch
Institut Jean le Rond d'Alembert
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Paris, France

tel: +33 1 44 27 72 61
fax : +33 1 44 27 52 59
e-mail: sebastien.neukirch (-atat-) upmc.fr

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Geometry and mechanics of uniform n-plies: from engineering ropes to biological filaments

Sébastien Neukirch & G. van der Heijden

Journal of Elasticity, 69 (2002) 41-72

Abstract : We study the mechanics of uniform n-plies, that is, structures formed by n helical strands plied together. We first show that the well-known lock-up phenomenon for n = 2, described by a pitchfork bifurcation, gets unfolded for higher n. Geometrically, n-plies with n > 2 are all found to behave qualitatively the same. Next we consider the mechanics of n-plies, allowing for axial end forces and end moments. An expression for the interstrand pressure force is derived and used to investigate the birdcage failure mode of plied structures.

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download the journal version PDF (412 ko) - Note that formula (17) is incorrect and has to be replaced by formula (17) of the pre-print version.