7. Novel and Efficient Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Analysis and Architecting of Ultralight Cellular Materials and their Macrostructural Responses
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Nature benefits from high stiffness and strength low-weight materials by involving architected cellular structures. For example, trabecular bone, beaks and bones of birds, plant parenchyma, and sponge optimize superior mechanical properties at low density by implementing a highly porous, complex architected cellular core . The same engineering and architectural principles at the material scale have been used by humankind to develop materials with higher mechanical efficiency and lower mass in many weight-critical applications. The emergence of advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing and three-dimensional (3D) laser lithography offer the opportunity to fabricate ultralight metallic and composite materials with intricate cellular architecture to location-specific requirements. For example, the world’s lightest metal [26,32], Fig. 7.1, and reversibly assembled ultralight carbon-fiber-reinforced composite materials , Fig. 7.2, with architected cellular structures have been recently fabricated at Hughes Research Laboratories (HRL) in California and MIT Media Lab-Center for Bits and Atoms, respectively.