Effects of cell size and cell wall thickness variations on the stiffness of closed-cell foams

Published on Jan 1, 2015in International Journal of Solids and Structures3.9
· DOI :10.1016/J.IJSOLSTR.2014.09.022
Youming Chen4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Auckland),
Raj Das24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Auckland),
Mark Battley15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of Auckland)
Sources
Abstract
Abstract This paper concerns with the micromechanical modelling of closed-cell polymeric foams (M130) using Laguerre tessellation models incorporated with realistic foam cell size and cell wall thickness distributions. The cell size and cell wall thickness distributions of the foam were measured from microscope images. The Young’s modulus of cell wall material of the foam was characterised by nanoindentation tests. It is found that when the cell size and cell wall thickness are assumed to be uniform in the models, the Kelvin, Weaire–Phelan and Laguerre models overpredict the stiffness of the foam. However, the Young’s modulus and shear modulus predicted by the Laguerre models incorporating measured foam cell size and cell wall thickness distributions agree well with the experimental data. This emphasizes the fact that the integration of realistic cell wall and cell size variations is vital for foam modelling. Subsequently the effects of cell size and cell wall thickness variations on the stiffness of closed-cell foams were investigated using Laguerre models. It is found that the Young’s modulus and shear modulus decrease with increasing cell size and cell wall thickness variations. The degree of stiffness variation of closed-cell foams resulting from the cell size dispersion and cell wall thickness dispersion are comparable. There is little interaction between the cell size variation and cell wall thickness variation as far as their effects on foam moduli are concerned. Based on the simulation results, expressions incorporating cell size and cell wall thickness variations were formulated for predicting the stiffness of closed-cell foams. Lastly, a simple spring system model was proposed to explain the effects of cell size and cell wall thickness variations on the stiffness of cellular structures.
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