Deformation rate effects on failure modes of open-cell Al foams and textile cellular materials

Sungsoo Lee, François Barthelat, Nicolaie Moldovan, Horacio D. Espinosa*, Haydn N.G. Wadley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The compressive behavior of open-cell aluminum alloy foam and stainless steel woven textile core materials have been investigated at three different deformation rate regimes. Quasi-static compressive tests were performed using a miniature loading frame, intermediate rates were achieved using a stored energy Kolsky bar, and high strain rate tests were performed using a light gas gun. In agreement with previous studies on foam materials, the strain rate was not found to have a significant effect on the plateau stress of metallic foams. For all the tests, real time imaging of the specimen combined with digital image correlation analysis allowed the determination of local deformation fields and failure modes. For the Kolsky bar tests, the deformations in the foam specimen were found to be more distributed than for the quasi-static test, which is attributed to moderate inertia effects. The differences in failure mode are more dramatic for the gas gun experiments, where a full compaction shock wave is generated at the impact surface. The stresses in front and behind the shock wave front were determined by means of direct and reverse gas gun impact tests, i.e., stationary and launched specimen, respectively. A one-dimensional shock wave model based on an idealized foam behavior is employed to gain insight into the stress history measurements. We show that the predictions of the model are consistent with the experimental observations. Woven textile materials exhibited moderate dependence of strength on the deformation rate in comparison with open-cell foam materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-73
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Aluminum foams
  • Dynamic compression
  • Metallic cellular materials
  • Woven textile lattice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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