Prediction Of The Mechanical Behaviour Of A Closed Cell Aluminium Foam Using Advanced Nonlinear Finite Element Modelling
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Cellular materials like aluminum foam which is the subject of interest here are generally characterized by high energy absorption capacity per unit weight. Materials of this category can be ideal for applications such as packaging and vehicle body structures for enhanced impact safety. A particularly well-known variety of closed-cell aluminum foam is designated as Alporas, which is studied here. From a viewpoint of mechanical behavior, the foam being considered can be represented using either a detailed cellular approach capturing the voids present in foam structure or a phenomenological approach in which experimental stress-strain response is assigned a-priori to solid elements filling up the space occupied by a foam geometry. Both modeling approaches are studied in the present work. It has been shown for the first time that stress-strain behavior under compression including densification can be predicted well with a Kelvin cell-based model, although scope for further improvement exists. Based on a novel combination of compression tests at low strain rates in a UTM and medium strain rates in low velocity impact tests, a relation between foam strength and strain rate has been proposed. This effect of strain rate on strength is captured in a finite element model for analysis using an explicit code with contact simulation capabilities and the predictions for projectile impact tests at higher strain rates using a gas gun-based device have been found to match commendably with results obtained from the said tests.