BackgroundPolyvinyl chloride (PVC) foams are widely used in crashworthiness and energy absorption applications due to their low density and the capability of crushing up to large deformations with limited loads. This property is due to their particular constitutive behavior: the stress-strain curve is characterized, after an initial yield or peak stress, by a relevant plateau region followed by a steep increase due to foam densification. Furthermore, the mechanical response of PVC foam is strongly strain rate dependent.ObjectiveThis work aims to characterize the mechanical behavior of PVC foams and to develop a complete constitutive model for impact and energy absorption applications.MethodsCompressive tests are carried out at different speeds on PVC foam samples having different relative densities. Quasi-static and intermediate strain rate tests are performed by a pneumatic machine, while high strain rate tests are conducted by means of a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar. The uniaxial stress-strain curves are used to calibrate the visco-elastic and visco-plastic constitutive model. In particular, the material behavior is divided into two parallel branches: the former describes the elasto-plastic behavior, while the latter accounts for the visco-elastic one; the plastic branch also includes a multiplicative term accounting for the strain rate sensitivity of the base material.ResultsThe tests highlight a strong compressibility of the foam with negligible lateral expansion. The energy absorption efficiency, as well as the densification strain, is evaluated. The material model is also implemented in Finite Element (FE) simulations of puncture impact tests, validating the results of the calibration procedure.ConclusionsThe calibration of the visco-elasto-plastic material model offers a physically consistent identification of the constitutive response of the PVC foams, showing an effective characterization of the impact behavior of the material.
Experimental Characterization and Numerical Modelling of the Impact Behavior of PVC Foams / Sasso, M; Sarasini, F; Mancini, E; Lattanzi, A; Tirillo, J; Sergi, C. - In: EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS. - ISSN 0014-4851. - (2023). [10.1007/s11340-023-00954-x]