, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 55-67

The elastic–plastic behaviour of foam under shock loading

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Abstract

An experimental investigation of the elastic–plastic nature of shock wave propagation in foams was undertaken. The study involved experimental blast wave and shock tube loading of three foams, two polyurethane open-cell foams and a low-density polyethylene closed-cell foam. Evidence of precursor waves was observed in all three foam samples under various compressive wave loadings. Experiments with an impermeable membrane are used to determine if the precursor wave in an open-cell foam is a result of gas filtration or an elastic response of the foam. The differences between quasi-static and shock compression of foams is discussed in terms of their compressive strain histories and the implications for the energy absorption capacity of foam in both loading scenarios. Through a comparison of shock tube and blast wave loading techniques, suggestions are made concerning the accurate measurements of the principal shock Hugoniot in foams.

Communicated by A. Hadjadj.