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A multiscale study of damage in elastomeric syntactic foams

Brown, J.A., Carroll, J.D., Huddleston, B., Casias, Z., Long, K.N.
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.14 pp. 10479-10498
ambient temperature, finite element analysis, foams, glass, mathematical models, microstructure, polydimethylsiloxane, prediction
Damage mechanisms in elastomeric syntactic foams filled with glass microballoons (GMB) and resulting effects on the macroscale elastic constants have been investigated. Direct numerical simulations of the material microstructure, composite theory analyses, and uniaxial compression tests across a range of filler volume fractions were conducted. The room temperature and elastic behavior of composites with undamaged, fully debonded, and fully crushed GMBs were investigated for syntactic foams with a polydimethylsiloxane matrix. Good agreement was obtained between numerical studies, composite theory, and experiments. Debonding was studied via finite element models due to the difficulty of isolating this damage mechanism experimentally. The predictions indicate that the bulk modulus is insensitive to the state of debonding at low-GMB-volume fractions but is dramatically reduced if GMBs are crushed. The shear behavior is affected by both debonding and crush damage mechanisms. The acute sensitivity of the bulk modulus to crushed GMBs is further studied in simulations in which only a fraction of GMBs are crushed. We find that the composite bulk modulus drops severely even when just a small fraction of GMBs are crushed. Various material parameters such as GMB wall thickness, volume fraction, and minimum balloon spacing are also investigated, and they show that the results presented here are general and apply to a wide range of microstructure and GMB filler properties.