Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Ryan Toomey, Ph.D.


Buckling, Polymer, Elastic stability, Finite difference approximation, Biharmonic equation


The buckling of a material subject to stress is a very common phenomenon observed in mechanics. However, the observed buckling of a surface confined hydrogel due to swelling is a unique manifestation of the buckling problem. The reason for buckling is the same in all cases; there is a certain magnitude of force that once exceeded, causes the material to deform itself into a buckling mode. Exactly what that buckling mode is as well as how much force is necessary to cause buckling depends on the material properties. Taking both a finite difference and analytical approach to the problem, it is desired to obtain relationships between the material properties and the predicted buckling modes. These relationships will make it possible for a hydrogel to be designed so that the predicted amount of buckling will occur.