Research Papers

A Unified Phenomenological Model for Tensile and Compressive Response of Polymeric Foams

[+] Author and Article Information
Timothy R. Walter

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Andrew W. Richards

Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125

Ghatu Subhash1

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611subhash@ufl.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 131(1), 011009 (Dec 18, 2008) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3026556 History: Received January 25, 2008; Revised July 01, 2008; Published December 18, 2008

Tensile and compressive stress-strain responses were obtained for various densities of polymer foams. These experimental data were used to determine relevant engineering parameters (such as elastic moduli in tension and compression, ultimate tensile strength, etc.) as a function of foam density. A phenomenological model applicable for both compressive and tensile responses of polymeric foams is validated by comparing the model to the experimentally obtained compression and tensile responses. The model parameters were analyzed to determine the effect of each parameter on the mechanical response of the foam. The engineering parameters were later compared to the appropriate model parameters and a good correlation was obtained. It was shown that the model indeed captures the entire compressive and tensile response of polymeric foams effectively.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Typical compressive stress-strain response of a polymer foam. (i) Elastic region, (ii) collapse region, and (iii) densification region. Note the effect of each term in the LS model used to fit the data.

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Figure 2

Optical images of the cellular structure of Divinycell® foam of different densities

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Figure 3

Comparison between confined and unconfined compression of Divinycell® H45 foam

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Figure 4

(a) Test fixture for confined compression of cellular specimen and (b) snapshots of a deformed specimen at selected intervals

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Figure 5

(a) Tensile test fixture in UTM with test specimen bonded between two aluminum tabs, and (b) fractured foam specimen

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Figure 6

Tensile and compressive responses of Divinycell® PVC foam specimens of different densities. Note the change in scale for the tension response.

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Figure 7

Trends in compression modulus and collapse stress as a function of foam density

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Figure 8

Trends in the measured tensile engineering parameters as a function of foam density

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Figure 9

(a) LS model fit using average parameter values and a single representative test data, and (b) an expanded view of the model fit in the elastic region

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Figure 10

Trends in the LS model parameters as functions of foam density

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Figure 11

Grouped LS model parameters representing common engineering parameters versus foam density. Note the trends are similar to those seen in curves of engineering parameters versus foam density. Open symbols represent model parameters and filled symbols represent experimental values.



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