All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Uday Vaidya

Advisory Committee Members

Selvum Pillay

Derrick Dean

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Materials Engineering (MSMtE) School of Engineering


Foams are often used for energy absorbing applications. Increasing a materials ability to absorb energy without increasing its weight is a difficult task. Foams have a low specific weight and high energy absorbing capabilities. Syntactic foams are unique in that their voids are created by the dispersion of hollow glass microspheres (HGMS) randomly distributed throughout a matrix. This allows the density, distribution of porosity, and consequently the weight of the material to be controlled. Thermoplastic syntactic polymer foam samples have been prepared at the Manufacturing, Processing, and Applications Development (MPAD) facility at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dif-ferent thermoplastic polymers have been compounded with varying amounts of micro-spheres to create a new type of syntactic foam. Tests were conducted using various tech-niques including Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), quasi-static compression, low velocity impact (LVI), and dynamic compression tests with a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to analyze fracture surfaces of compressed samples. Through the use of vibration analysis, the frequency response of foam beams to continuous excitation under free-free boundary conditions showed ther-moplastic syntactic foams better energy absorbing capabilities than other materials.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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