Effect of the material properties on the crumpling of a thin sheet

Mehdi Habibi*, Mokhtar Adda-Bedia, Daniel Bonn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


While simple at first glance, the dense packing of sheets is a complex phenomenon that depends on material parameters and the packing protocol. We study the effect of plasticity on the crumpling of sheets of different materials by performing isotropic compaction experiments on sheets of different sizes and elasto-plastic properties. First, we quantify the material properties using a dimensionless foldability index. Then, the compaction force required to crumple a sheet into a ball as well as the average number of layers inside the ball are measured. For each material, both quantities exhibit a power-law dependence on the diameter of the crumpled ball. We experimentally establish the power-law exponents and find that both depend nonlinearly on the foldability index. However the exponents that characterize the mechanical response and morphology of the crumpled materials are related linearly. A simple scaling argument explains this in terms of the buckling of the sheets, and recovers the relation between the crumpling force and the morphology of the crumpled structure. Our results suggest a new approach to tailor the mechanical response of the crumpled objects by carefully selecting their material properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4029-4034
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of the material properties on the crumpling of a thin sheet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this