Axisymmetric indentation of curved elastic membranes by a convex rigid indenter

S.P. Pearce#, J.R. King & M.J. Holdsworth

Motivated by applications to seed germination, we consider the transverse deflection that results from the axisymmetric indentation of an elastic membrane by a rigid body. The elastic membrane is fixed around its boundary, with or without an initial pre-stretch, and may be initially curved prior to indentation. General indenter shapes are considered, and the load-indentation curves that result for a range of spheroidal tips are obtained for both flat and curved membranes. Wrinkling may occur when the membrane is initially curved, and a relaxed strain-energy function is used to calculate the deformed profile in this case. Applications to experiments designed to measure the mechanical properties of seed endosperms are discussed.

International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics 46 (9), 1128-1138