The dynamic compressive characteristics of a closed cell aluminium alloy foam (manufactured by Hydro Aluminium AS, Norway) have been studied experimentally by using a direct impact technique for a range of velocities up to 210 m s(-1). Experimental data on the dynamic initial crushing and plateau stresses are compared for two average cell sizes of approximately 4 and 14 mm. The data reveal significant dynamic enhancements of the initial crushing strengths throughout the range of velocities used. The dynamic plateau stresses are insensitive to impact velocity below the values of 50 and 100 m s(-1) for the large and small cell foams respectively. Beyond a critical velocity value of similar to 100 m s(-1), the crushing wave front propagates through the foam with shock like characteristics. The inertia effects associated with the dynamic localisation of crushing and the microinertia of the cell wall/edge material on the dynamic strength enhancement are discussed. A one-dimensional shock model based on a rate independent, rigid, perfectly plastic locking idealisation of the nominal stress-strain curve for foams is employed to provide a first order understanding of the various parameters involved in the crushing process. The results of the analyses are seen to predict well the dynamic strength enhancements that are measured experimentally. The sources of discrepancies are highlighted and discussed, as are the limitations and shortcomings of the shock model. (C) 2002 IoM Communications Ltd.
- ENERGY-ABSORBING STRUCTURES