The concept of density-graded foams has been proposed to simultaneously enhance strain energy dissipation and the load-bearing capacities at a reduced structural weight. From a practical perspective, the fabrication of density-graded foams is often achieved by stacking different foam densities. Under such conditions, the adhesive interlayer significantly affects the mechanical performance and failure modes of the structure. This work investigates the role of different adhesive layers on the mechanical and energy absorption behaviors of graded flexible foams with distinct density layers. Three adhesive candidates with different chemical, physical, and mechanical characteristics are used to assemble density-graded polyurea foam structures. The mechanical load-bearing and energy absorption performances of the structures are evaluated under quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Mechanical tests are accompanied by digital image correlation (DIC) analyses to study the local strain fields developed in the vicinity of the interface. Experimental measurements are also supplemented by model predictions that reveal the interplay between the mechanical properties of an adhesive interlayer and the macroscale mechanical performance of the graded foam structures. The results obtained herein demonstrate that the deformation patterns and macroscale properties of graded foam composites can be tuned by selecting different bonding agents. It is also shown that the proper selection of an adhesive can be a practical way to address the strength-energy dissipation dichotomy in graded structures.
K. Uddin, I. Anni, G. Youseff, & B. Koohbor. Tuning the Mechanical Behavior of Density-Graded Elastomeric Foam Structures via Interlayer Properties. ACS Omega 2022 Oct 10;7(42):37189-37200. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c03212
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