Non-hierarchical architected materials with extreme stiffness and strength

Fengwen Wang*, Marie Brøns, Ole Sigmund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Stretch-dominated truss and plate microstructures are contenders in the quest for realizing architected materials with extreme stiffness and strength. In the low volume fraction limit, closed-cell isotropic plate microstructures meet theoretical upper bounds on stiffness but have low buckling strength, whereas open-cell truss microstructures have high buckling strength at the  cost of significantly reduced stiffness. At finite volume fractions, the picture becomes less clear but both are outperformed by hollow truss lattice and hierarchical microstructures in terms of buckling strength. Despite significant advances in manufacturing methods, hollow and multi-scale hierarchical microstructures are still challenging to build. The question is if there exist realizable microstructures providing stiffness and strength matching or even beating hard-to-realize hollow or hierarchical microstructures?
Herein, single-scale non-hierarchical (first order) microstructures that beat the buckling strength of hollow truss lattice structures by a factor of 2.4 and first- and second-order plate microstructures by factors of 5 and 1.4, respectively, are systematically designed, built, and tested. Stiffness of the microstructures is within 40% of theoretical bounds and beats both truss and second order plate microstructures. The microstructures are realized with 3D printing. Experiments validate theoretical predictions and additional insight is provided through numerical modelling of a CT-scanned sample.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Buckling strength
  • Stiffness
  • Architected material
  • Hierarchy
  • Optimization


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