Helical buckling of wires embedded in a soft matrix under axial compression

Youlong CHEN, Xiangbiao LIAO, Yilun LIU, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

10 Citations (Scopus)


Wires embedded in an infinite soft matrix may buckle into a three-dimensional helical mode upon compression. Based on minimization of potential energy, we present a theoretical analysis of three-dimensional helical buckling of wires embedded in matrix. The buckling spacing and amplitudes are deduced, which are further verified by parallel FEM simulations. It is suggested that, the buckled profile is almost perfectly circular in the axial direction; with increasing compression, the buckling spacing decreases almost linearly, while the amplitude scales with the 1/2 power of the compressive strain. Besides the transition strain from 2D mode to 3D helical mode decreases with the Young's modulus of the wire, and approaches to ∼1.25% when the modulus is high enough. This study may shed some lights on the buckling behaviors of wires embedded in matrix and provide some useful instructions of manufacturing complex structures. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11302163, 11372241 and 11572238). Y.C. and X.L. acknowledge the China Scholarship Council for financial support.


  • FEM
  • Helical buckling
  • Post-buckling behavior
  • Soft matrix
  • Theoretical analysis
  • Wires


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