The following is an excerpt.

Polymer foams own a combination of two attractive capacities: They weigh next to nothing, and they absorb energy.

PhD Candidate Daniel Thor Morton focuses on Polymer Foams and Their Role in Pedestrian Impact Protection
Daniel Thor Morton started on his PhD at NTNU in 2016 and will finish in 2020.
(Photo: Sølvi W. Normannsen)

These two characteristics make polymer foams attractive to the automotive industry. PhD candidate Daniel Thor Morton focuses on the modelling of the mechanical behaviour of polymer foam, including their role in Pedestrian Impact Protection.  His research will help to increase its innovative use potential. Recently Morton gave a presentation on his work at one of the internal CASA seminars.

Here is a summary in his own words:

«Polymer foams play an essential role in modern protective applications. One such application is pedestrian impact protection. Polymer foams help mitigate a potential impact,  and its behaviour plays an important part in the design of cars and bumpers.

READ MORE: New Model for Computing the Strength of Fibre-reinforced Polymers

Allows Energy to be Efficiently Absorbed

Due to the high porosity and low density of the foam, its behaviour in compression allows energy to be efficiently absorbed. However, it does come with its own modelling challenges. The material is challenging to describe with existing material models.

Polymer foams own a combination of two attractive capacities: They weigh next to nothing, and they absorb energy.

This is particularly relevant when a foam component is loaded in both compression and shear.

By mechanical testing and analysis of the microstructure, it is possible to create an approximation of the complex structure. This can then be used to simulate the response of a small part of the foam. If a small part of the response is well represented, this opens the door for a generalization and a useful material model that engineers can benefit from when designing foam components».

These are the Intermediate Goals:

The intermediate goals of Daniel Thor Morton’s work include:

  • Investigate existing material models under a variety of different loading and environmental conditions.
  • Amend or develop material models aimed at capturing effects relevant for impact loading.
  • Establish effective and economical calibration tools for the said material models.
PhD Candidate Daniel Thor Morton focuses on Polymer Foams and Their Role in Pedestrian Impact Protection

Morton graduated from NTNU with an MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. He wrote his thesis with the Biomechanics group at the

During his MSc,  he spent one year at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar. 

He started on his PhD at NTNU in 2016 and will finish in 2020. His supervisor is Professor Aase G. Reyes, and co-supervisor is Professor Arild Holm Clausen.