Review Article

Manufacture and Mechanics of Topologically Interlocked Material Assemblies

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas Siegmund

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: siegmund@purdue.edu

Francois Barthelat

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 2K6, Canada
e-mail: francois.barthelat@mcgill.ca

Raymond Cipra

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: cipra@purdue.edu

Ed Habtour, Jaret Riddick

Vehicle Technology Directorate,
U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005

Manuscript received March 9, 2016; final manuscript received May 17, 2016; published online July 14, 2016. Editor: Harry Dankowicz.This work is in part a work of the U.S. Government. ASME disclaims all interest in the U.S. Government contributions.

Appl. Mech. Rev 68(4), 040803 (Jul 14, 2016) (15 pages) Paper No: AMR-16-1018; doi: 10.1115/1.4033967 History: Received March 09, 2016; Revised May 17, 2016

Topologically interlocked material (TIM) systems are load-carrying assemblies of unit elements interacting by contact and friction. TIM assemblies have emerged as a class of architectured materials with mechanical properties not ordinarily found in monolithic solids. These properties include, but are not limited to, high damage tolerance, damage confinement, adaptability, and multifunctionality. The review paper provides an overview of recent research findings on TIM manufacturing and TIM mechanics. We review several manufacturing approaches. Assembly manufacturing processes employ the concept of scaffold as a unifying theme. Scaffolds are understood as auxiliary support structures employed in the manufacturing of TIM systems. It is demonstrated that the scaffold can take multiple forms. Alternatively, processes of segmentation are discussed and demonstrated. The review on mechanical property characteristics links the manufacturing approaches to several relevant material configurations and details recent findings on quasi-static and impact loading, and on multifunctional response.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Example of a TIM system: (a) a plurality of unit elements and the principle of topological interlocking. (Reproduced with permission from Khandelwal et al. [35]. Copyright 2015 by IOP Publishing Limited.) (b) A topologically interlocked architectured material.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

TIM assembly with gravity assist in a U-shaped rigid scaffold. Individual unit elements are made of a rigid polymer foam and shaped by a wire cutting process [39]. Unit elements edge length of a = 25.0 mm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Assembly with rigid scaffold plane and a template. Individual unit elements made by fused deposition 3D printing, unit elements edge length of a = 25.0 mm. (Reproduced with permission from Mather et al. [33]. Copyright 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) TIM system removed from the scaffold and externally constrained. In this configuration, the external constraint is provided by a prestressed elastic cable guided in tubes. (b) A sandwich panel with a TIM core. In this hybrid TIM system, the scaffold becomes the sandwich facesheet. (Reproduced with permission from Molotnikov et al. [12]. Copyright 2013 by WILEY-VCH Verlag.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Deformable (string) scaffold in (a) the open state with grid spacing w and (b) the closed state with grid spacing w′, achieved by differential scaling of the scaffold grid [39].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Mechanism for parallel assembly of a topologically interlocked architectured material with a deformable scaffold: (a) initial placement of unit element on grid, (b) mechanism in open state for the approximate placement of unit elements, and (c) mechanism in closed state. String guides possess pultrusions to guide the strings individually and are free to rotate about their midspan point [39].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Mechanism overview for the deformable string scaffold [39].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Mechanism geometry detail: (a) positions of wire guides and (b) kinematic relationships [39].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Two TIM systems with internal constraints: (a) a plate-type configuration based on regular tetrahedra [53] and (b) a cantilever-type configuration based on truncated tetrahedra. Unit elements are manufactured by fused deposition 3D printing; T300 carbon fiber tow is used as the internal constraint.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

(a) Unit element with features for directional self-assembly at the air–fluid interface. Unit element manufactured by polyjet 3D printing. (b) Self-assembled TIM based on unit elements shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Three-dimensional printer control software (objet studio) for the manufacture of a TIM system.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

(a) A homogeneous 3D-printed TIM. Metal shim stock is used along the frame to control confinement pressure in the assembly. (b) A 3D-printed TIM with microstructured unit elements, unit elements are truncated tetrahedra.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Generating weak interfaces within glass: (a) a nanosecond-pulsed laser focused beam creates microdefects at its focal point. Arrays of these defects define the weak interfaces between individual blocks. (b) Glass compact tension specimen used to measure the toughness of the laser-engraved interface; (c) the size of the defects can be adjusted by the power of the laser; and (d) the toughness of the interfaces can be tuned from zero (“laser cutting”) to the toughness of bulk glass by adjusting the spacing between defects [13,45] (original figures by the authors).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Architectured glass panels: (a) numerical models where the interfaces define and array of truncated tetrahedra which are topologically interlocked, (b) picture of the laser-engraved panel, and (c) top view of four engraved panels with different oblique angles. (Reproduced with permission from Mirkhalaf et al. [44]. Copyright 2016 by Elsevier.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Quasi-static force–deflection response of transversely loaded TIM assembly and comparison to a monolithic equivalent: (a) schematic of experiment, (b) failure pattern in plain glass and architectured glass, (c) force–displacement response measured for plain glass and architectured glass, and (d) force–displacement response measured for several different architectured glass segmentation angles. (Reproduced with permission from Mirkhalaf et al. [44]. Copyright 2016 by Elsevier.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

(a) TIM in deformed configuration due to transverse loading, (b) predicted deformed configuration and spatial distribution of Mises equivalent stress, and (c) measured and predicted force–deflection response. (Reproduced with permission from Feng et al. [11]. Copyright 2015 by Elsevier.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Distribution of compressive principal stresses in TIM under transverse load ((a) and (b)); from thrustline to truss system (c).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Representative force–deflection curves for transversely loaded TIM assemblies with rigid external constraint and internal constraint by carbon fiber tow [53].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Impact characteristics for a glass-based TIM: (a) schematic of experimental setup, (b) failure pattern in plain glass and architectured glass, (c) impact energy of architectured glasses, modified architectured glasses, and plain glass, and (d) coefficients of restitution of architectured glass and plain glass. (Reproduced with permission from Mirkhalaf et al. [44]. Copyright 2016 by Elsevier.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

Finite element simulation of impact on (a) damage distribution in a TIM system and (b) damage evolution in the equivalent monolithic system. Simulations account for cohesive elements distributed evenly throughout the model volume.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

LJ relationship for a TIM, computational prediction. (Reproduced with permission from Feng et al. [11]. Copyright 2015 by Elsevier.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

Control of mechanical response of a TIM through the in-plane constraint: (a) TIM force–deformation response under control of the external constraint, positive, and negative stiffness is achieved. (b) Predicted energy absorption diagram considering several actively controlled TIM cases with several plateau load values. (Reproduced with permission from Khandelwal et al. [35]. Copyright 2015 by IOP Publishing Limited.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 23

Control of mechanical response of a TIM by embedded SMA wires controlling the in-plane constraint: (a) imposed transverse displacement, insert depicts the TIM system composed of osteomorphic bricks and the SMA wires in channels through the brick units; (b) response of the SMA-enhanced TIM to SMA current during constant applied displacement. The current alters in in-plane constraint and thus the stiffness of the TIM. (Reproduced with permission from Molotnikov et al. [34]. Copyright 2015 by IOP Publishing Limited.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 24

Shape morphing TIM system: unilaterally truncated tetrahedra units (0–33%) (a) are used to construct internally constraint TIMs (Fig. 9(b)) with part of the C-fiber tow augmented by an SMA wire. The resulting TIM deflection is controlled by the SMA wire (b) and allows to control the shape from flat (c) to curved (d).




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In