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Design of novel hybrid foam materials for impact applications

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Hybrid materials typically comprise two or more materials and span from foams and lattices, to fibre reinforced composites. From the naturally occurring bone, wood or bird’s wings, to man-made aerogel and metal or polymer foams, hybrid material are ubiquitous in nature. Design of hybrid materials involves careful selection of material and topology to generate a structurally efficient, low-density material enabling gaps to be filled in material space. The primary goal of this research is the design of such a material and in particular, a hybrid material containing polymer foam. The specific desired properties of such a material should include superior energy absorption capabilities giving improvement of the indentation and impact resistance of the foam. These new materials will find applications in a myriad of industries; automotive, aerospace, and marine as well as sporting and military applications. Specific applications may include helmets, and panels in cars, boats and aircraft which are susceptible to impact.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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