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Semi-soft elasticity and director reorientation in stretched sheets of nematic elastomers
Sergio Conti, Antonio DeSimone and Georg Dolzmann
A two-dimensional effective model for the semi-soft elastic behavior of nematic elastomers is derived in the thin film limit. The model is used to investigate numerically the force-stretch curves, the deformed shape, and to resolve the local patterns in the director orientation in a stretching experiment. From the force-stretch curves we recover the two critical stretches which mark the transition from hard to soft and back to hard response. We present an analytical model for their dependence on the aspect ratio of the sample, and compare with numerical results