Failure of cellular foams under multiaxial loading

E. E. Gdoutos, I. M. Daniel*, K. A. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


A thorough investigation of the mechanical behavior of a closed-cell cellular foam (Divinycell) under multiaxial stress conditions was undertaken. Two types of Divinycell, H100 and H250, with densities of 100 and 250 kg/m3, respectively, were investigated. The uniaxial tensile, compressive and shear stress-strain curves along the in-plane and the through-the-thickness directions of both materials were obtained. The materials showed quite different stress-strain behavior in tension and compression. The H100 material showed a nearly isotropic behavior, while the H250 material showed orthotropic behavior with a higher stiffness along the through-the-thickness than the in-plane direction. A series of biaxial tests were conducted, including: (i) constrained strip specimens in tension and compression with the strip axis along the through-the-thickness and in-plane directions; (ii) constrained thin-wall ring specimens in compression and torsion; (iii) thin-wall tube specimens in tension and torsion; and (iv) thin-wall tube specimens under axial tension, torsion and internal pressure. From these tests, biaxial strength results in the stress plane of the through-the-thickness and in-plane directions for different values of applied shear were obtained. Failure envelopes were constructed by the Tsai-Wu failure criterion based on the strength values in uniaxial tension, compression and shear. The experimental results were described well by the Tsai-Wu failure criterion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalComposites - Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2002


  • A. Honeycomb
  • A. Plates
  • B. Elasticity
  • B. Fracture
  • Cellular foams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials


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