We present a one-dimensional, multiscale mass-spring model to describe the response of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) foams subjected to uniaxial, high-rate compressive deformations. The model uses mesoscopic dissipative spring elements composed of a lower level chain of asymmetric, bilateral, bistable elastic springs to describe the experimentally observed deformation-dependent stress–strain responses. The model shows an excellent agreement with the experimental response of VACNT foams undergoing finite deformations and enables in situ identification of the constitutive parameters at the smaller lengthscales. We apply the model to two cases of VACNT foams impacted at 1.75 ms−1 and 4.44 ms−1 and describe their dynamic response.

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