Strain rate dependence of damage evolution in syntactic foams

Vasanth Chakravarthy Shunmugasamy, Nikhil Gupta, Nguyen Q. Nguyen, Paulo G. Coelho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study focused on determining the effect of high strain rate loading on the deformation and fracture characteristics of syntactic foams and relating them with the initial foam microstructure. The high strain rate testing was carried out using a split-Hopkinson pressure bar system and the damage evaluation was carried out using microCT-scan and scanning electron microscope. The strength was found to be 50-150% higher at high strain rates when compared to quasi-static values for various grades of syntactic foams. Damage evaluation revealed crushing of particles in the surface layer, shear cracking, and propagation of longitudinal cracks as the main fracture modes at different strain rates and material compositions. Wall thickness and volume fraction of hollow particles used in syntactic foams played an important role in determining the failure mechanism. At low strain rates shear cracking of specimens was prominent, whereas at high strain rates longitudinal cracks were the main failure mode. Understanding the strain rate dependence of failure mechanisms is important for aerospace applications of these lightweight composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6166-6177
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2010


  • Fracture
  • High strain rate testing
  • Mechanical testing
  • Particulate reinforced composites
  • Polymer matrix composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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