Buckling morphology of an elastic beam between two parallel lateral constraints : Implication for a snake crawling between walls

Junfeng XIAO, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A snake crawling on horizontal surfaces between two parallel walls exhibits a unique wave-like shape, which is different from the normal shape of a snake crawling without constraints. We propose that this intriguing system is analogous to a buckled beam under two lateral constraints. A new theoretical model of beam buckling, which is verified by numerical simulation, is firstly developed to account for the special boundary conditions. Under this theoretical model, the effect of geometrical parameters on the deformation shape, such as the distance between walls, length of the snake and radius of the snake, is examined. The buckling beam model is then applied to explain qualitatively the wave-like shape of the snake. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume10
Issue number85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Beam
  • Buckling
  • Morphology
  • Snake locomotion

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