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Prediction of Mechanical Properties of Microcellular Plastics Using the Variational Asymptotic Method for Unit Cell Homogenization (VAMUCH) Method

[+] Author Affiliations
Emily Yu, Lih-Sheng Turng

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI

Paper No. MSEC2013-1254, pp. V001T01A071; 7 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference
  • Volume 1: Processing
  • Madison, Wisconsin, USA, June 10–14, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5545-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This work presents the application of the micromechanical variational asymptotic method for unit cell homogenization (VAMUCH) with a three-dimensional unit cell (UC) structure and a coupled, macroscale finite element analysis for analyzing and predicting the effective elastic properties of microcellular injection molded plastics. A series of injection molded plastic samples — which included polylactic acid (PLA), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) — with microcellular foamed structures were produced and their mechanical properties were compared with predicted values. The results showed that for most material samples, the numerical prediction was in fairly good agreement with experimental results, which demonstrates the applicability and reliability of VAMUCH in analyzing the mechanical properties of porous materials. The study also found that material characteristics such as brittleness or ductility could influence the predicted results and that the VAMUCH prediction could be improved when the UC structure was more representative of the real composition.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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