Impact Response of Foam: The Effect of the State of Stress
The Finite Element predictions of the physical response of foams during impact by a rigid body (such as, the Hybrid III head form) is determined by material law equations generally approximated based on the theory of elastoplasticity. However, the structural aspect of foam, its discontinuous nature, makes it difficult to apply the laws of continuum mechanics and construct constitutive equations for foam-like material. One part of the problem relates to the state of stress. In materials such as steel, the state of hydrostatic stress does not affect the stress strain behavior under uniaxial compression or tension in plastic regime. In other words, when steel is subject to hydrostatic pressures the stress strain characteristic can be predicted from a uniaxial test. However, if the stresses acting on a section of foam are triaxial, the response of a head-form may be different than predicted from uniaxial test data.