Mechanical Characterization of Foams

Since their introduction, polymer foams have been broadly used in several applications such as cushioning, packaging, energy-absorption, insulation and recently as structural core materials.

In most foam applications, the mechanical properties play an important role. Mechanical properties of polymer foams mostly depend on the type of solid of which they are made of, their relative density, their cell size and wall thickness, as well as the connectivity and regularity of the cell walls and edges. Moreover, external parameters such as the operational temperatures and different strain rates can also impose significant influences on the mechanical behavior of such cellular polymers.

One main field of research at the department of polymer engineering is mechanical characterization of polymer foams, from long-term creep behavior, over quasi-static loading conditions, and into dynamic fatigue properties. Different modes of loading including tension, compression, shear, flexure, and torsion are among established methods at the department. The main goal of such studies is to draw correlations between structure of polymer foams (i.e. density and cell morphology) and the resulting mechanical properties. In order to understand the influence of structure inhomogeneity, which is typical for cellular materials, advanced methods such a optical strain analyses is coupled with mechanical testing.


Contact: M.Sc. Tobias Standau
Phone: +49 921 5574-40
Fax: +49 921 5574-73