A methodology for obtaining material properties of polymeric foam at elevated temperatures

S. Zhang, Janice.M. Barton, R.K. Fruehmann, O.T. Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


A new methodology to characterise the elastic properties of polymeric foam core materials at elevated temperatures is proposed. The focus is to determine reliable values of the tensile and compressive moduli and Poisson?s ratio based on strain data obtained using digital image correlation (DIC). In the paper a detailed coverage of the source of uncertainties in the experimental procedure is provided. The uncertainties include those associated with the load introduction, the measurement and the data processing. The design of the specimens and loading jigs are developed and assessed in terms of the introduction of uniform strain. It is shown that due to the mismatch in stiffness between the jig material and the foam the introduction of a uniform strain through the cross section of the specimens is difficult to obtain. A means for correcting for the non-uniform strain across the specimen cross section is developed. To validate the methodology, tests are firstly conducted at room temperature on Divinycell PVC H100 foam. It is shown that the material is highly anisotropic with a stiffness of 50% less in the plane of the foam sheet compared to the through-thickness direction. It is also shown that because of the compliance of the foam, jig misalignment causes large errors in the measurement, and a means for correcting for this is defined. Tests are then conducted in a temperature controlled chamber at elevated temperatures ranging from 20?C to 90?C. A nonlinear reduction in Young?s modulus is obtained with significant degradation occurring after 70?C. The Poisson?s ratio remains fairly stable at different temperatures. A strong theme in the paper is the accuracy and precision of the DIC data and the factors which introduce scatter in the data, along with the uncertainties that this introduces. Particular attention is paid to the affect of the correlation parameters on the derived strain data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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