Cellular elastomeric metamaterials are interesting for various applications, e.g. soft robotics, as they may exhibit multiple microstructural pattern transformations, each with its characteristic mechanical behaviour. Numerical literature studies revealed that pattern formation is restricted in (thick) boundary layers causing significant mechanical size effects. This paper aims to experimentally validate these findings on miniaturized specimens, relevant for real applications, and to investigate the effect of increased geometrical and material imperfections resulting from specimen miniaturization. To this end, miniaturized cellular metamaterial specimens are manufactured with different scale ratios, subjected to in-situ micro-compression tests combined with digital image correlation yielding full-field kinematics, and compared to complementary numerical simulations. The specimens' global behaviour agrees well with the numerical predictions, in terms of pre-buckling stiffness, buckling strain and post-buckling stress. Their local behaviour, i.e. pattern transformation and boundary layer formation, is also consistent between experiments and simulations. Comparison of these results with idealized numerical studies from literature reveals the influence of the boundary conditions in real cellular metamaterial applications, e.g. lateral confinement, on the mechanical response in terms of size effects and boundary layer formation.boundary conditions in real cellular metamaterial applications, e.g. lateral confinement, on the mechanical response in terms of size effects and boundary layer formation.
- Cellular elastomeric materials
- Digital image correlation
- In-situ testing
- Microstructural buckling
- Size effects