Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 17–27 | Cite as

Radial Inertia Effect on Dynamic Compressive Response of Polymeric Foam Materials

  • B. SongEmail author
  • B. Sanborn
  • W.-Y. Lu


Polymeric foams have been extensively used in shock isolation applications because of their superior shock or impact energy absorption capability. However, as a type of soft condensed matter, the highly nonlinear, heterogeneous, and dissipative behavior of polymeric foams may result in an ineffective mitigation or isolation to shock/blast loading. To meet certain desired shock mitigation or isolation requirements, the polymeric foams need to be experimentally characterized to obtain their intrinsic material response. However, radial inertia during dynamic compression has become a severe issue and needs to be fully understood. In this study, we developed an analytical method to calculate the additional stress induced by radial inertia in a polymeric foam specimen. The radial inertia is generally caused by Poisson’s effect and associated with three different mechanisms – axial strain acceleration, large deformation, and Poisson’s ratio change. The effect of Poisson’s ratio change during deformation on radial inertia was specifically investigated for hyperelastic foam materials, and verified with experimental results obtained from Kolsky compression bar tests on a silicone foam.


Radial inertia Poisson’s ratio Dynamic response Polymeric foam Split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) Kolsky bar 



Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Sandia National LaboratoriesLivermoreUSA

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