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Auxetic Foam for Snow-Sport Safety Devices

Allen, TB and Duncan, O and Foster, L and Senior, T and Zampieri, D and Edeh, V and Alderson, A (2017) Auxetic Foam for Snow-Sport Safety Devices. In: Snow Sports Trauma and Safety: Conference Proceedings of the International Society for Skiing Safety, 21st Volume. Springer, pp. 145-159. ISBN 978-3-319-52754-3

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Abstract

Skiing and snowboarding are popular snow-sports with inherent risk of injury. There is potential to reduce the prevalence of injuries by improving and implementing snow-sport safety devices with the application of advanced materials. This chapter investigates the application of auxetic foam to snow-sport safety devices. Composite pads—consisting of foam covered with a semi-rigid shell—were investigated as a simple model of body armour and a large 70 × 355 × 355 mm auxetic foam sample was fabricated as an example crash barrier. The thermo-mechanical conversion process was applied to convert open-cell polyurethane foam to auxetic foam. The composite pad with auxetic foam absorbed around three times more energy than the conventional equivalent under quasi-static compression with a concentrated load, indicating potential for body armour applications. An adapted thermo-mechanical process—utilising through-thickness rods to control in-plane compression—was applied to fabricate the large sample with relatively consistent properties throughout, indicating further potential for fabrication of a full size auxetic crash barrier. Further work will create full size prototypes of snow-sport safety devices with comparative testing against current products.

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