Refining FEA Material Models Through Dynamic Testing

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Roger Veldman, Hope College

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This material is based upon work supported by the United States Department of Homeland Security.


The results of Finite Element Analysis rely on the material model used in the computations. Current material models are mostly based on quasi-static tensile testing. Because materials can behave differently at different strain rates, higher strain-rate situations require dynamically tested material properties for an accurate result. Concurrent research projects require a way to test various materials at medium to high strain rates (>1000 s-1). A compressed air cannon was constructed to perform G.I. Taylor’s test of impacting cylinders against a rigid boundary. By measuring the plastic deformation of the cylinders after impact, the dynamic yield strength can be calculated and used in FEA models to predict deformation to an explosive blast. This air cannon is a good step towards measuring the yield strength of various materials, but more work needs to be done to refine the projectile’s flight to attain repeatable, reliable results.

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