Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Rodney J. Andrews

Second Advisor

Dr. Kozo Saito


Solid foams have been studied for years for their ability to mitigate damage from sudden impact. Small explosive attacks threaten to damage or destroy key structures in some parts of the world. A newly developed material, carbon foam, may offer the ability to mitigate the effects of such blasts. This project investigates the energy absorbing properties of carbon and polyurethane based foams in dynamic compression to illustrate their viability to protect concrete structures from the damaging effects of pressure waves from a small blast. Cellular solid mechanics fundamentals and a survey of the microscopic cellular structure of each type of foam are discussed. Experiments were performed in three strain rate regimes: low strain rate compression testing, middle strain rate impact testing, and high strain rate blast testing to reveal mechanical behavior. Experiments show a 7.62 cm (3”) thick hybrid composite layered foam sample can protect a concrete wall from a small blast.