Manufacture and Mechanics of Topologically Interlocked Material Assemblies

Thomas Siegmund*, Francois Barthelat, Raymond Cipra, Ed Mansour Habtour, Jaret C. Riddick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Topologically interlocked material (TIM) systems are load-carrying assemblies of unit elements interacting by contact and friction. TIM assemblies have emerged as a class of architectured materials with mechanical properties not ordinarily found in monolithic solids. These properties include, but are not limited to, high damage tolerance, damage confinement, adaptability, and multifunctionality. The review paper provides an overview of recent research findings on TIM manufacturing and TIM mechanics. We review several manufacturing approaches. Assembly manufacturing processes employ the concept of scaffold as a unifying theme. Scaffolds are understood as auxiliary support structures employed in the manufacturing of TIM systems. It is demonstrated that the scaffold can take multiple forms. Alternatively, processes of segmentation are discussed and demonstrated. The review on mechanical property characteristics links the manufacturing approaches to several relevant material configurations and details recent findings on quasi-static and impact loading, and on multifunctional response.
Original languageEnglish
Article number040803
JournalApplied mechanics reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • topological materials
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Energy dissipation
  • 3D Printing
  • Optimisation


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