Modeling of the compression behavior of foam cores reinforced with composite rods

Jin Zhou, Zhong Wei Guan, Wesley James Cantwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article models the energy-absorbing characteristics of polymer foams reinforced with either carbon or glass fiber reinforced epoxy rods. Initially, the compression response of 20 mm thick foams containing rods of equal length was modeled and the resulting predictions were compared with experimental data. The FE models have been shown to accurately predict the load–displacement responses of the reinforced foams in most cases. It has been shown that the energy absorbed by the reinforced cores increases linearly with foam density and that it also increases with increasing rod diameter. The energy values were normalized by the mass of the reinforced core to determine specific energy absorption (SEA) values. It has been shown that the SEA increases rapidly with increasing rod diameter and more slowly with increasing foam density. The validated models were used to predict the compression response of foams of different thickness, where it was shown that increasing the thickness of the core results in a reduction in the SEA. In addition, the FE model was used to model graded cores based on composite rods of different lengths. Using differently sized rods allows for the controlled energy absorption as well as the more gradual increase in the sustained crushing load. POLYM. COMPOS., 38:2301–2311, 2017.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2301-2311
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Composites
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


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