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# Flexural rigidity

About: Flexural rigidity is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 3829 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 56780 citation(s).

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TL;DR: In this paper, a new set of higher-order metrics is developed to characterize strain gradient behaviors in small-scale structures and a strain gradient elastic bending theory for plane-strain beams is developed.

Abstract: Conventional strain-based mechanics theory does not account for contributions from strain gradients. Failure to include strain gradient contributions can lead to underestimates of stresses and size-dependent behaviors in small-scale structures. In this paper, a new set of higher-order metrics is developed to characterize strain gradient behaviors. This set enables the application of the higher-order equilibrium conditions to strain gradient elasticity theory and reduces the number of independent elastic length scale parameters from five to three. On the basis of this new strain gradient theory, a strain gradient elastic bending theory for plane-strain beams is developed. Solutions for cantilever bending with a moment and line force applied at the free end are constructed based on the new higher-order bending theory. In classical bending theory, the normalized bending rigidity is independent of the length and thickness of the beam. In the solutions developed from the higher-order bending theory, the normalized higher-order bending rigidity has a new dependence on the thickness of the beam and on a higher-order bending parameter, bh. To determine the significance of the size dependence, we fabricated micron-sized beams and conducted bending tests using a nanoindenter. We found that the normalized beam rigidity exhibited an inverse squared dependence on the beam's thickness as predicted by the strain gradient elastic bending theory, and that the higher-order bending parameter, bh, is on the micron-scale. Potential errors from the experiments, model and fabrication were estimated and determined to be small relative to the observed increase in beam's bending rigidity. The present results indicate that the elastic strain gradient effect is significant in elastic deformation of small-scale structures.

2,091 citations

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TL;DR: The first accurate measurements of the flexural rigidity of microtubules are reported, showing that a microtubule is rigid over cellular dimensions and is expected to be almost inextensible.

Abstract: Microtubules are long, proteinaceous filaments that perform structural functions in eukaryotic cells by defining cellular shape and serving as tracks for intracellular motor proteins. We report the first accurate measurements of the flexural rigidity of microtubules. By analyzing the thermally driven fluctuations in their shape, we estimated the mean flexural rigidity of taxol-stabilized microtubules to be 2.2 x 10(-23) Nm2 (with 6.4% uncertainty) for seven unlabeled microtubules and 2.1 x 10(-23) Nm2 (with 4.7% uncertainty) for eight rhodamine-labeled microtubules. These values are similar to earlier, less precise estimates of microtubule bending stiffness obtained by modeling flagellar motion. A similar analysis on seven rhodamine-phalloidin-labeled actin filaments gave a flexural rigidity of 7.3 x 10(-26) Nm2 (with 6% uncertainty), consistent with previously reported results. The flexural rigidity of these microtubules corresponds to a persistence length of 5,200 microns showing that a microtubule is rigid over cellular dimensions. By contrast, the persistence length of an actin filament is only approximately 17.7 microns, perhaps explaining why actin filaments within cells are usually cross-linked into bundles. The greater flexural rigidity of a microtubule compared to an actin filament mainly derives from the former's larger cross-section. If tubulin were homogeneous and isotropic, then the microtubule's Young's modulus would be approximately 1.2 GPa, similar to Plexiglas and rigid plastics. Microtubules are expected to be almost inextensible: the compliance of cells is due primarily to filament bending or sliding between filaments rather than the stretching of the filaments themselves.

1,619 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, a modified couple stress theory was used for the bending of a Bernoulli-Euler beam and a variational formulation based on the principle of minimum total potential energy was employed.

Abstract: A new model for the bending of a Bernoulli–Euler beam is developed using a modified couple stress theory. A variational formulation based on the principle of minimum total potential energy is employed. The new model contains an internal material length scale parameter and can capture the size effect, unlike the classical Bernoulli–Euler beam model. The former reduces to the latter in the absence of the material length scale parameter. As a direct application of the new model, a cantilever beam problem is solved. It is found that the bending rigidity of the cantilever beam predicted by the newly developed model is larger than that predicted by the classical beam model. The difference between the deflections predicted by the two models is very significant when the beam thickness is small, but is diminishing with the increase of the beam thickness. A comparison shows that the predicted size effect agrees fairly well with that observed experimentally.

864 citations

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TL;DR: In this article, the flexural rigidity of the earth's lithosphere is deduced from observations of the wavelength and amplitude of bending in the vicinity of supercrustal loads.

Abstract: The earth's lithosphere and asthenosphere are modeled as a thin elastic sheet and a fluid substratum, respectively; the physical principles involved are briefly described. The flexural rigidity of the lithosphere is deduced from observations of the wavelength and amplitude of bending in the vicinity of supercrustal loads. Data from Lake Bonneville given by M. D. Crittenden, Jr., are reinterpreted to give a value for the flexural rigidity of the lithosphere in the Basin and Range province of the western United States of 5×1022 Newton meters. Observations of loading in Canada give values for the flexural rigidity of greater than 3×1020N m for the Caribou Mountains in Northern Alberta; about 4×1023 N m for the topography over the Interior Plains; about 1023 N m for the Boothia uplift in arctic Canada; and about 1025 N m for the bending of the beaches of Pleistocene Lakes Agassiz and Algonquin. The flexure of the lithosphere at Hawaii and the bending of the oceanic lithosphere near island arcs give values of about 2×1023 N m. For short-term loads (103–104 years) the flexural rigidity of the continental lithosphere is almost two orders of magnitude larger than for long-term loads, indicating nonelastic behavior of the lithosphere with a viscous (about 1023 N sec m−2) as well as an elastic response to stress. From the values of the flexural rigidity, the thickness of the continental lithosphere is inferred to be about 110 km and that of the oceanic lithosphere about 75 km or more. The anomalously low flexural rigidity of the lithosphere of the Basin and Range province may be due to a very thin lithosphere, only about 20 km thick, with hot, lower crustal material acting as an asthenosphere.

557 citations

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TL;DR: This study addresses the relationship between venation pattern and wing flexibility by measuring the flexural stiffness of wings (in both the spanwise and chordwise directions) and quantifying wing venation in 16 insect species from six orders and demonstrates that leading edge veins are crucial in generating this spanwise-chordwise anisotropy.

Abstract: During flight, many insect wings undergo dramatic deformations that are controlled largely by the architecture of the wing. The pattern of supporting veins in wings varies widely among insect orders and families, but the functional significance of phylogenetic trends in wing venation remains unknown, and measurements of the mechanical properties of wings are rare. In this study, we address the relationship between venation pattern and wing flexibility by measuring the flexural stiffness of wings (in both the spanwise and chordwise directions) and quantifying wing venation in 16 insect species from six orders. These measurements show that spanwise flexural stiffness scales strongly with the cube of wing span, whereas chordwise flexural stiffness scales with the square of chord length. Wing size accounts for over 95% of the variability in measured flexural stiffness; the residuals of this relationship are small and uncorrelated with standardized independent contrasts of wing venation characters. In all species tested, spanwise flexural stiffness is 1-2 orders of magnitude larger than chordwise flexural stiffness. A finite element model of an insect wing demonstrates that leading edge veins are crucial in generating this spanwise-chordwise anisotropy.

486 citations