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Characterization of Anisotropic Polymeric Foam Under Static and Dynamic Loading

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An orthotropic polymeric foam with transverse isotropy (Divinycell H250) used in composite sandwich structures was characterized at various strain rates. Uniaxial experiments were conducted along principal material axes as well as along off-axis directions under tension, compression, and shear to determine engineering constants, such as Young’s and shear moduli. Uniaxial strain experiments were conducted to determine mathematical stiffness constants, i. e., C ij . An optimum specimen aspect ratio for these tests was selected by means of finite element analysis. Quasi-static and intermediate strain rate tests were conducted in a servo-hydraulic testing machine. High strain rate tests were conducted using a split Hopkinson Pressure Bar system built for the purpose using polymeric (polycarbonate) bars. The polycarbonate material has an impedance that is closer to that of foam than metals and results in lower noise to signal ratios and longer loading pulses. It was determined by analysis and verified experimentally that the loading pulses applied, propagated along the polycarbonate rods at nearly constant phase velocity with very low attenuation and dispersion. Material properties of the foam were obtained at three strain rates, quasi-static (10−4 s−1), intermediate (1 s−1), and high (103 s−1) strain rates. A simple model proposed for the Young’s modulus of the foam was in very good agreement with the present and published experimental results.

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The work described in this paper was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). We are grateful to Dr. Y. D. S. Rajapakse of ONR for his encouragement and cooperation; and to Brian Werner for his assistance with the illustrations.

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Correspondence to I. M. Daniel.

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Daniel, I.M., Cho, J. Characterization of Anisotropic Polymeric Foam Under Static and Dynamic Loading. Exp Mech 51, 1395–1403 (2011).

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  • Cellular materials
  • Polymeric foams
  • Mechanical characterization
  • Dynamic testing
  • Effects of strain rate