Plasticity and damage analysis of metal hollow sphere structures under dynamic compressive loading

Cunda, Luiz Antonio Bragança da; Oliveira, Branca Freitas de; Creus, Guillermo Juan


Purpose – As compared with homogeneous metals and alloys, cellular metals provide low density, high specific stiffness, high energy absorption and good damping, thus being interesting alternatives to employ as protection against shock and impact. Impact energy is dissipated through cell bending, buckling or fracture. The knowledge and computational modelling of the mechanical behaviour of metal foams structures is thus of great importance for real life applications. The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge of the differences in metallic hollow sphere structures’ (MHSS) behaviour under dynamic loading, as compared with the corresponding behaviour under static loading and to determine the influence of inertia and loading rate. Design/methodology/approach – Computational dynamical finite element analyses of representative volume elements (RVE) of MHSS have been performed considering varying loading rates. Partially bonded geometries are considered and the effect of the spheres’ distribution is also taken into account. Findings – The results of the numerical examples presented show that inertia plays an important role in the dynamic behaviour of this kind of energy-absorbing structure. When compared with the corresponding values in the quasi-static case, the effect of inertia makes the peak load higher. If the deformation rate is higher (greater than 1.39 m/s in the studied cases), the characteristic plateau usually present in compressed metal foams can vanish. For the geometries analysed, damage has a small influence on load-deformation relations. Originality/value – This paper presents and discusses differences between static and dynamic behaviour of partially bonded MHSS. There are few references in the literature covering this issue by means of numerical analysis.

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