Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 81–85 | Cite as

A split Hopkinson bar technique for low-impedance materials

  • W. Chen
  • B. Zhang
  • M. J. Forrestal


An experimental technique that modifies the conventional split Hopkinson pressure bar has been developed for measuring the compressive stress-strain responses of materials with low mechanical impedance and low compressive strengths such as elastomers at high strain rates. A high-strength aluminum alloy was used for the bar materials instead of steel, and the transmission bar was hollow. The lower Young's modulus of the aluminum alloy and the smaller cross-sectional area of the hollow bar increased the amplitude of the transmitted strain signal by an order of magnitude as compared to a conventional steel bar. In addition, a pulse shaper lengthened the rise time of the incident pulse to ensure stress equilibrium and homogeneous deformation in the low-impedance specimen. Experimental results show that the high strain rate, compressive stress-strain behavior of an elastomeric material can be determined accurately and reliably using this technique.


High Strain Rate Transmitted Strain Conventional Split Transmitted Strain Signal 
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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Chen
    • 1
  • B. Zhang
    • 2
  • M. J. Forrestal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  3. 3.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque

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