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Micromechanics analysis applied to the modelling of aluminium honeycomb and EPS foam composites

A 3D Finite Element model of an innovative composite material, configured as a layer of expanded aluminium honeycomb placed on top of a layer of expanded polystyrene foam, has been developed and validated against experimental data obtained from quasi-static tests. Ls-Prepost was used to generate the model. Ls-Dyna was used to simulate the behaviour of this material under compressive loads. The objective was to reproduce deformation mechanisms and to compare the numerical load-displacement curves with those obtained from experiments. The loading direction was chosen perpendicular to the plane of the alignment of the honeycomb cell walls. Particular emphasis was given to the contact between the aluminium honeycomb cell walls and the surface of the foam. Because of the periodicity of the geometrical and material properties, these composites were modelled as a unit cell according to the principles of the micromechanics analysis of periodic structures. In addition, to further reduce computational costs, the inner symmetries of the unit cell were exploited to generate and validate a smaller unit cell model (here called sub-cell). The results obtained from analysis of both the unit cell and the sub-cell were compared with experimental data. Numerical results showed good accuracy even when the smaller unit cell was used.

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