Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Ryan Toomey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Babu Joseph, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Simkins, 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.