2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Understanding Edge Curling in Ancient Scrolls and Other Rolled Materials
Nolan J. Muench
Dr. Mohammad Samiullah, Faculty Mentor

Ancient scrolls that have been bound and stored for long periods of time exhibit an outward deformation along their edges when unrolled. This effect, known in Chinese as Qi-Wa, is aesthetically unpleasant and has the potential to damage the ink and fiber of the scrolls. A similar curling effect also occurs on the edges of flexible electronic paper after significant use. Researchers at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan studied Qi-Wa using experiments, simulations and theoretical models. Their findings, published in Physical Review Letters on January 23, 2014, show that Qi-Wa is due to the spontaneous extrinsic curvature that occurs when the scrolls are rolled for storage. The researchers derived experimentally consistent relations for the height of the curled edges, based on the materials dimensions, bulk moduli, and radius when stored. We reviewed their models and tested this relation for copy paper, poster board, and aluminum foil.

Keywords: Qi-Wa, ancient scrolls, flexible electronic paper, experimental physics

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 203-2
Location: MG 1096
Time: 9:45

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