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Controlling Density and Modulus in Auxetic Foam Fabrications—Implications for Impact and Indentation Testing

Duncan, O and Allen, TB and Foster, L and Gatt, R and Grima, J and Alderson, A (2018) Controlling Density and Modulus in Auxetic Foam Fabrications—Implications for Impact and Indentation Testing. In: 12th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, 26 March 2018 - 29 March 2018, Queensland, Australia.

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Abstract

Foams are commonly used for cushioning in protective sporting equipment. Volumetrically compressing open-cell polyurethane foam buckles cell ribs creating a re-entrant structure—set by heating then cooling—which can impart auxetic behaviour. Theoretically, auxetic materials improve impact protection by increasing indentation resistance and energy absorption, potentially reducing sporting injuries and burdens on individuals, health services and national economies. In previous work, auxetic foam exhibited ~3 to ~8 times lower peak force (compared to its conventional counterpart) under impacts adopted from tests used to certify protective sporting equipment. Increases to the foam’s density and changes to stress/strain relationships (from fabrication) mean Poisson’s ratio’s contribution to reduced peak forces under impact is unclear. This work presents a simple fabrication method for foam samples with comparable density and linear stress/strain relationship, but different Poisson’s ratios ranging between 0.1 and −0.3, an important step in assessing the Poisson’s ratio’s contribution to impact force attenuation.

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