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METAL FOAMS HAVE BEEN WIDELY USED IN THE ENGINEERING FIELDS DUE TO ITS EXCELLENT ENERGY ABSORPTION CAPACITY UNDER IMPACT. UNDER DIFFERENT IMPACT VELOCITIES, METAL FOAM EXHIBITS DIFFERENT ENERGY ABSORPTION PROPERTIES. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INVESTIGATE THE MECHANISM AND BEHAVIOR OF ENERGY ABSORPTION OF METAL FOAM UNDER IMPACT. IN THIS STUDY, A 3D MICROSCOPIC FINITE ELEMENT MODEL (FEM) OF METAL FOAM IS FIRST ESTABLISHED TO STUDY ENERGY ABSORPTION PROPERTIES OF METAL FOAM. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE IMPACT ENERGY TRANSFERS INTO KINETIC AND INTERNAL ENERGY OF METAL FOAM WHICH VARIES UNDER IMPACT. THE VARIATION CAN BE EXPLAINED BY PLASTIC SHOCK WAVE, WHICH IS PRODUCED AND THEN PROPAGATES UNDER IMPACT. THE THEORETICAL MODEL IS PROPOSED TO DISCUSS AND PREDICT KINETIC ENERGY AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DYNAMIC AND QUASI-STATIC ENERGY ABSORPTION BEHAVIOR OF METAL FOAM. EFFECTS OF INERTIA AND BASE MATERIAL STRAIN RATE ON PLASTIC SHOCK WAVE ARE INVESTIGATED, AND THE MECHANISM OF THE TWO EFFECTS ON DYNAMIC ENERGY ABSORPTION PROPERTIES ARE STUDIED. THE RESULTS INDICATE THAT BASE MATERIAL STRAIN RATE EFFECT RESISTS THE FORMATION OF PLASTIC SHOCK WAVE, AND LEADS TO SMALLER KINETIC ENERGY, BUT HIGHER INTERNAL ENERGY.
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