Implementation of viscoelastic Hopkinson bars
Blast Impact and Survivabillity Research Unit (BISRU), Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa
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Knowledge of the properties of soft, viscoelastic materials at high strain rates are important in furthering our understanding of their role during blast or impact events. Testing these low impedance materials using a metallic split Hopkinson pressure bar setup results in poor signal to noise ratios due to impedance mismatching. These difficulties are overcome by using polymeric Hopkinson bars. Conventional Hopkinson bar analysis cannot be used on the polymeric bars due to the viscoelastic nature of the bar material. Implementing polymeric Hopkinson bars requires characterization of the viscoelastic properties of the material used. In this paper, 30 mm diameter Polymethyl Methacrylate bars are used as Hopkinson pressure bars. This testing technique is applied to polymeric foam called Divinycell H80 and H200. Although there is a large body of of literature containing compressive data, this rarely deals with strain rates above 250s−1 which becomes increasingly important when looking at the design of composite structures where energy absorption during impact events is high on the list of priorities. Testing of polymeric foams at high strain rates allows for the development of better constitutive models.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012