Deb, A., Shivakumar, N., and Chou, C., "An Alternative Approach for Formulation of a Crushable PU Foam Considering its Behavior under Compressive Loads," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1483, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1483.
Rigid polyurethane (PU) foam finds wide applications as a lightweight material in impact safety design such as improving occupant safety in vehicle crashes. The two principal reacting compounds for formulating such foam are variants of polyol and isocyanate. In the present study, an alternative mechanical engineering-based approach for determining, with confidence, the desirable ratio of reacting compounds for formulation of a rigid/crushable PU foam for mechanical applications is demonstrated. According to the present approach, PU foam samples are prepared by varying the mixing ratio over a wide range. The desirable mixing ratio is shown to be the one that optimizes key mechanical properties under compression such as total absorbed energy, specific absorbed energy and energy absorption efficiency. It is noted that the latter attributes are key for ensuring the performance of a given crushable PU foam for energy absorbing applications such as designing vehicles for crashworthiness and occupant safety.