Nonlinear mechanics of rigidifying curves
AbstractThin shells are characterized by a high cost of stretching compared to bending. As a result isometries of the midsurface of a shell play a crucial role in their mechanics. In turn, curves on the midsurface with zero normal curvature play a critical role in determining the number and behavior of isometries. In this paper, we show how the presence of these curves results in a decrease in the number of linear isometries. Paradoxically, shells are also known to continuously fold more easily across these rigidifying curves than other curves on the surface. We show how including nonlinearities in the strain can explain these phenomena and demonstrate folding isometries with explicit solutions to the nonlinear isometry equations. In addition to explicit solutions, exact geometric arguments are given to validate and guide our analysis in a coordinate-free way.