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Fabrication, characterisation and modelling of uniform and gradient auxetic foam sheets

Duncan, O and Allen, TB and Foster, L and Senior, T and Alderson, A (2017) Fabrication, characterisation and modelling of uniform and gradient auxetic foam sheets. Acta Materialia, 126. pp. 426-437. ISSN 1873-2453

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Abstract

Large sheets of polyurethane open-cell foam were compressed (or stretched) using pins and a conversion mould whilst undergoing thermal softening and controlled cooling. Sheets (final dimensions 355 × 344 × 20 mm) were fabricated with uniform triaxial compression, with and without through-thickness pins, and also with different compression regimes (uniform triaxial compression or through-thickness compression and biaxial planar tension) in opposing quadrants. The samples fabricated under uniform triaxial compression with and without pins exhibited similar cell structure and mechanical properties. The sheets fabricated with graded compression levels displayed clearly defined quadrants of differing cell structure and mechanical properties. The graded foam quadrants subject to triaxial compression displayed similar cell structure, tangent moduli and negative Poisson's ratio responses to the uniform foams converted with a similar level of triaxial compression. The graded foam quadrants subject to through-thickness compression and biaxial planar tension displayed a slightly re-entrant through-thickness cell structure contrasting with an in-plane structure resembling the fully reticulated cell structure of the unconverted parent foam. This quadrant of graded foam displayed positive and negative Poisson's ratios in tension and compression, respectively, accompanied by high and low in-plane tangent modulus, respectively. The strain-dependent mechanical properties are shown to be fully consistent with expectations from honeycomb theory. The triaxially compressed quadrants of the graded sheet exhibited ∼4 times lower peak acceleration than quadrants with through-thickness compression and biaxial planar tension in 6 J impact tests using a steel hemispherical drop mass.

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