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Quasi-static characterisation and impact testing of auxetic foam for sports safety applications

Duncan, O and Foster, L and Senior, T and Alderson, A and Allen, TB (2016) Quasi-static characterisation and impact testing of auxetic foam for sports safety applications. Smart Materials and Structures, 25 (5). ISSN 0964-1726 (In Press)

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Abstract

This study compared low strain rate material properties and impact force attenuation of auxetic foam and the conventional open-cell polyurethane counterpart. This furthers our knowledge with regards to how best to apply these highly conformable and breathable auxetic foams to protective sports equipment. Cubes of auxetic foam measuring 150 × 150 × 150 mm were fabricated using a thermo–mechanical conversion process. Quasi-static compression confirmed the converted foam to be auxetic, prior to being sliced into 20 mm thick cuboid samples for further testing. Density, Poisson's ratio and the stress–strain curve were all found to be dependent on the position of each cuboid from within the cube. Impact tests with a hemispherical drop hammer were performed for energies up to 6 J, on foams covered with a polypropylene sheet between 1 and 2 mm thick. Auxetic samples reduced peak force by ~10 times in comparison to the conventional foam. This work has shown further potential for auxetic foam to be applied to protective equipment, while identifying that improved fabrication methods are required.

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