Application of instrumented falling dart impact to the mechanical characterization of thermoplastic foams


The applicability of instrumented falling weight impact techniques in characterizing mechanically thermoplastic foams at relatively high strain rates is presented in this paper. In order to try simulating impact loading of foams against sharp elements, an instrumented dart having a hemispherical headstock was employed in the tests. Failure strength and toughness values were obtained from high-energy impact experiments, and the elastic modulus could be measured from both flexed plate and indentation low-energy impact tests. The results indicate a dependence of the failure strength, toughness, and the elastic modulus on the foam density, the foaming process, and the chemical composition. This influence was found to be similar to that of pure nonfoamed materials and also to that observed from low-rate compression tests. The results also indicate that the indentation low-energy impact tests were more accurate in obtaining right values of the elastic modulus than the flexed plate low-energy impact tests usually used to characterize rigid plastics. The foam indentation observed with this test configuration contributes to obtaining erroneous values of the elastic modulus if only a simple flexural analysis of plates is applied.

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Velasco, J.I., Martínez, A.B., Arencón, D. et al. Application of instrumented falling dart impact to the mechanical characterization of thermoplastic foams. Journal of Materials Science 34, 431–438 (1999).

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  • Foam
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Compression Test
  • High Strain Rate
  • Mechanical Characterization