Virtual Development and Testing of Tightly Packed Syntactic Foams
This paper introduces a method of numerically predicting the stress-strain properties of syntactic foams based on a representative volume element approach. A Monte Carlo simulation method was used to account for the randomness of the packing arrangements of microspheres within a unit cell and generate a suitable number of results to predict the stress-strain relationship for each volume fraction. The lower volume fractions were created via a Random Sequential Adsorption procedure, while a packing algorithm based on a molecular dynamics approach was used to achieve the high-volume fraction microstructures. Several uniaxial tensile finite element simulations were created using the commercial software package, Abaqus. Representative elastic material parameters were selected for both the polymer matrix and the microspheres. Failure of the composite was modelled using a brittle fracture approach. The numerical approach presented in this paper represents a powerful tool to greatly speed up the development of advanced lightweight structures by reducing the need for costly experimental tests to determine the optimal material composition for the specific stiffness and strength of the desired application.
Authors: Adam Mayall, Declan Carolan, A. Fergusson, and J.P. Dear
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017