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.

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