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Effect of Compressive Strain Rate on Auxetic Foam

Duncan, Oliver and Allen, Thomas (2021) Effect of Compressive Strain Rate on Auxetic Foam. Applied Sciences, 11 (3). ISSN 2076-3417


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Auxetic foams have previously been shown to have benefits including higher indentation resistance than their conventional counterparts, due to their negative Poisson’s ratio, making them better at resisting penetration by concentrated loads. The Poisson’s ratio and Young’s modulus of auxetic open cell foams have rarely been measured at the high compressive strain rates typical during impacts of energy absorbing material in sporting protective equipment. Auxetic closed cell foams are less common than their open cell counterparts, and only their quasi-static characteristics have been previously reported. It is, therefore, unclear how the Poisson’s ratio of auxetic foam, and associated benefits such as increased indentation resistance shown at low strain rates, would transfer to the high strain rates expected under impact. The aim of this study was to measure the effect of strain rate on the stiffness and Poisson’s ratio of auxetic and conventional foam. Auxetic open cell and closed cell polymer foams were fabricated, then compression tested to ~80% strain at applied rates up to 200 s−1, with Poisson’s ratios obtained from optical full-field strain mapping. Open cell foam quasi-static Poisson’s ratios ranged from −2.0 to 0.4, with a narrower range of −0.1 to 0.3 for closed cell foam. Poisson’s ratios of auxetic foams approximately halved in magnitude between the minimum and maximum strain rates. Open cell foam quasi-static Young’s moduli were between 0.02 and 0.09 MPa, whereas closed cell foams Young’s moduli were ~1 MPa, which is like foam in protective equipment. The Young’s moduli of the auxetic foams approximately doubled at the highest applied strain rate of 200 s−1.

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