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Nonlinear material behaviour and failure of closed-cell polymer foams

: Fahlbusch, Nina-Carolin; Becker, Wilfried; Kolupaev, Vladimir; Geertz, Guru


Acta Mechanica 227 (2016), Nr.11, S.3113-3121
ISSN: 0001-5970
ISSN: 1619-6937
Fraunhofer LBF ()
nonlinear material behaviour; closed-cell polymer foam

Classical strength criteria, like the von Mises criterion, are used to postulate the failure of ductile materials like steel or brass. It is known that for the application of foams in modern lightweight structures extended criteria are required, since foams are sensitive to hydrostatic stress. This observation on the macroscale can be explained by the deformation mechanisms of one single foam cell. Under hydrostatic stress, the deformation of the cell causes a non-uniform stress state of the cell walls. To understand the mechanism on the microlevel, a finite element model on the basis of a tetrakaidecahedron as unit cell was implemented. Utilising a strain energy-based homogenisation concept, the effective properties of the foam can be obtained. To adapt the geometric properties of the model to the real microstructure of the foam, results of a computer tomography image analysis were used by considering several imperfections in the cell geometry. For the analysis of the stress state on the microlevel, different load cases were applied to the unit cell. By means of these simulations, the geometrically nonlinear stress–strain curves on the macrolevel were deduced. Furthermore, the analysis of the finite element model provides an insight into the deformation mechanism on the microscale and allows the prediction of failure as well. Finally, the predicted failure points are represented in the Burzyński plane and compared with experimental results. The current paper focuses on the hard foam ROHACELL® IG-series (industrial grade), which is a closed-cell PMI foam produced by Evonik Industries AG, Germany.