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The elastic–plastic behaviour of foam under shock loading

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.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Jacques Blais of Defence Research and Development Canada Valcartier for his assistance in producing the SEM images of the foams. The authors are grateful to Jeffrey Nerenberg for the provision of some data from his M.Eng. Thesis, to Samuel Goroshin for assistance with the blast wave experiments, as well as to François Jetté, Jason Loiseau, and Vitali Nesterenko for useful discussions related to this topic. The authors would also like to thank Gaby Ciccarelli for providing some of the shock tube data used in the present study and Duane Cronin for providing the low-rate compression data for LD45.

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Correspondence to O. E. Petel.

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Communicated by A. Hadjadj.

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Petel, O.E., Ouellet, S., Higgins, A.J. et al. The elastic–plastic behaviour of foam under shock loading. Shock Waves 23, 55–67 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-012-0414-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-012-0414-7

Keywords

  • Polymeric foam
  • Shock tube
  • Blast wave
  • Elastic–plastic material
  • Gas filtration
  • Blast mitigation
  • Blast protection