High strain rate behaviour of polypropylene microfoams
1 Departamento de Tecnología Mecánica, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, C/Tulipán s/n 28933 Madrid, Spain
2 Centre Català del Plàstic, Dpt. Materials Science and Metallurgy, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTECH, C/Colom 114, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Microcellular materials such as polypropylene foams are often used in protective applications and passive safety for packaging (electronic components, aeronautical structures, food, etc.) or personal safety (helmets, knee-pads, etc.). In such applications the foams which are used are often designed to absorb the maximum energy and are generally subjected to severe loadings involving high strain rates.
The manufacture process to obtain polymeric microcellular foams is based on the polymer saturation with a supercritical gas, at high temperature and pressure. This method presents several advantages over the conventional injection moulding techniques which make it industrially feasible. However, the effect of processing conditions such as blowing agent, concentration and microfoaming time and/or temperature on the microstructure of the resulting microcellular polymer (density, cell size and geometry) is not yet set up. The compressive mechanical behaviour of several microcellular polypropylene foams has been investigated over a wide range of strain rates (0.001 to 3000 s−1) in order to show the effects of the processing parameters and strain rate on the mechanical properties. High strain rate tests were performed using a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar apparatus (SHPB). Polypropylene and polyethylene-ethylene block copolymer foams of various densities were considered.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012