Characterization of Energy Absorption and Strain Rate Sensitivity of a Novel Elastomeric Polyurea Foam

Behrad Koohbor, Aryan Blourchian, Kazi Zahir Uddin, George Youssef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Elastomeric polymer foams are widely used in sports and other protective padding applications due to their unique properties, such as excellent cushioning and relatively high-energy absorption to weight ratio. This work investigates the mechanical and energy absorption performance of an elastomeric hybrid structure polyurea foam in response to low-velocity impact. The examined polyurea foams are synthesized using a novel self-foaming process that leads to the development of a semi-closed cellular structure. The quasi-static response of the foam is first characterized by measuring the global stress–strain and energy absorption characteristics. The evolution of the foam's Poisson's ratio is also characterized by in situ digital image correlation (DIC) measurements. The same properties are also studied in dynamic loading conditions by subjecting the foam samples to controlled impact tests. A strain-dependent rate sensitivity parameter is used to quantify differences between the quasi-static and dynamic strength and energy absorption responses of the foam. The examined foam shows significant enhancement in strength at increased strain rates while retaining its excellent energy absorption capacity. This unique characteristic of the examined foam is discussed in terms of the concurrent effects of entrapped gas and the rate sensitivity of the parent polymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000797
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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