Elastic theory of unconstrained non-Euclidean plates

E. Efrati, E. Sharon*, R. Kupferman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Non-Euclidean plates are a subset of the class of elastic bodies having no stress-free configuration. Such bodies exhibit residual stress when relaxed from all external constraints, and may assume complicated equilibrium shapes even in the absence of external forces. In this work we present a mathematical framework for such bodies in terms of a covariant theory of linear elasticity, valid for large displacements. We propose the concept of non-Euclidean plates to approximate many naturally formed thin elastic structures. We derive a thin plate theory, which is a generalization of existing linear plate theories, valid for large displacements but small strains, and arbitrary intrinsic geometry. We study a particular example of a hemispherical plate. We show the occurrence of a spontaneous buckling transition from a stretching dominated configuration to bending dominated configurations, under variation of the plate thickness.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)762-775
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the United States-Israel Binational Foundation (Grant no. 2004037) and the MechPlant project of European Union's New and Emerging Science and Technology program. R.K. is grateful to M.R. Pakzad and M. Walecka for pointing out an error in the original manuscript.


  • Hyper-elasticity
  • Metric
  • Non-Euclidean
  • Residual stress
  • Thin plates


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