Programmed plastic deformation in mathematically-designed architected cellular materials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to control the exhibited plastic deformation behavior of cellular materials under certain loading conditions can be harnessed to design more reliable and structurally efficient damage-tolerant materials for crashworthiness and protective equipment applications. In this work, a mathematically-based design approach is proposed to program the deformation behavior of cellular materials with minimal surface-based topologies and ductile constituent material by employing the concept of functional grading to control the local relative density of unit cells. To demonstrate the applicability of this design tactic, two examples are presented. Rhombic, and double arrow deformation profiles were programmed as the desired deformation patterns. Grayscale images were used to map the relative density distribution of the cellular material. 316L stainless steel metallic samples were fabricated using the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing technique. Results of compressive tests showed that the designed materials followed the desired programmed deformation behavior. Results of mechanical testing also showed that samples with programmed deformation exhibited higher plateau stress and toughness values as compared to their uniform counterparts while no effect on Young’s modulus was observed. Plateau stress values increased by 8.6% and 13.4% and toughness values increased by 5.6% and 11.2% for the graded-rhombic and graded-arrow patterns, respectively. Results of numerical simulations predicted the exact deformation behavior that was programmed in the samples and that were obtained experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1622
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Cellular materials
  • Damage tolerant
  • Functional grading
  • Plastic deformation
  • Powder bed fusion
  • Stainless steel 316L
  • Triply periodic minimal surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Metals and Alloys


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