Title: Modelling the elastic response of a polyurethane open cell foam based on a minimal surface energy approach
Authors: Buffel, Bart
Desplentere, Frederik
Bracke, Kris
Verpoest, Ignace
Issue Date: 2-Jul-2013
Publisher: WIT Press
Host Document: WIT Transactions on Modelling and Simulation vol:55 pages:3-15
Series Title: WIT Transactions on Modelling and Simulation
Conference: Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements edition:6 location:La Coruña date:2-4 July 2013
Abstract: This study concerns the elastic response of a flexible open cell polyurethane foam and a complex foam in which an interpenetrating network is made by introducing a second material into the pores of the open cell foam. The elastic properties are investigated by means of experimental compression tests and FE-modelling work.

Compression experiments were performed to determine the mechanical properties of the different foam types including a study of the pronounced sample size effect based on Onck et al. (2001). The results indicate that this sample size and preparation effect have to be taken into account in order to obtain valuable results. A design of experiments was set up to determine the influence of cell size and foam density on the stiffness of the cellular materials.

In order to build a FE-model which represents the real foam topology as good as possible, the cellular architecture of the open cell foam was characterized using stereo-microscopy and CT-imaging. In this way cell size, strut length, type of cell faces and shape anisotropy were determined. FE-models of the open cell foam were build based on the Kelvin cell and Weaire-Phelan structure and allowed to study the influence of density, cell size and anisotropy. Surface evolver algorithms were applied to minimize the surface energy of the different unit cells (Brakke 1992). This intermediate step produced a FEM-topology with a remarkable resemblance to the real cellular structure. The results were in good agreement with experimental values and literature results (Gong et al. 2005).
ISBN: 978-1-84564-732-2
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Department of Materials Engineering - miscellaneous
Structural Composites and Alloys, Integrity and Nondestructive Testing
Materials Technology TC, Campus Bruges
Technologiecluster Materialentechnologie

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