Similar nonlinear mechanical responses in hard and soft materials

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A comparison of the mechanical responses of (bio)polymer networks and shape-memory alloys to cyclic loading reveals strong phenomenological similarities resulting from strain-induced structural changes.

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Figure 1: Illustration of the ideal Mullins effect.
Figure 2: Mechanical responses to cyclic deformations for both biopolymer hydrogels and SMAs.
Figure 3: Strain-induced structural changes cause both the Mullins effect and cyclic hardening in both polymer hydrogels and SMAs.

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Acknowledgements

We thank E. F. Wassermann and M. J. Unterberger for helpful discussions. Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in the framework of the SFB 863, and the German Excellence Initiative via the program Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) is gratefully acknowledged. K.M.S. thanks Jan Skotheim for hospitality, and acknowledges financial support from CompInt in the framework of the ENB Bayern and the International Graduate School of Science and Engineering at the Technische Universität München.

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Correspondence to Kurt M. Schmoller or Andreas R. Bausch.

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Schmoller, K., Bausch, A. Similar nonlinear mechanical responses in hard and soft materials. Nature Mater 12, 278–281 (2013) doi:10.1038/nmat3603

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