Abstract

Flexural fatigue tests were performed on cross-linked PVC foams of densities in the range from 75 to 300 kg/m3 at a frequency of 3Hz and at a stress ratio, R = 0.1. S-N diagrams were generated, and the failure mechanisms were examined. The fatigue behavior was found to be similar to structural materials with a fatigue strength that decreased with increased stress and increased with increased foam density. The final failure event was catastrophic due to crack propagation initiating at the tension side of the beam. SEM analyses of unfailed and failed 300kg/m3 density foam specimens revealed cell wall cracking and densification of the foam. The densification contributed to stiffening of foam specimens. Viscoelastic parameters of the foams were determined at room temperature using a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA) over a frequency range of 1–10Hz. For the virgin specimens it was found that the viscoelastic moduli and damping ratio were quite independent of frequency over this range of frequencies. Except for the lowest density foam (75kg/m3), the damping ratio was quite independent of foam density.

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