Simpleware Case Study: Auxetic Foam Analysis


Auxetic materials have a negative Poisson's ratio, therefore they expand in all directions when stretched. High-resolution 3D scan data of auxetic foam was obtained from the synchrotron facilities at the University of Washington. The data was automatically segmented and meshed using Simpleware ScanIP and the Simpleware FE module. The simulations were performed using ABAQUS®, Fluent and LS-DYNA®.


  • Based on Synchrotron XMT scan data (3µm resolution)
  • Automatic segmentation and mesh generation
  • From image to model in less than 10 minutes
  • Multipart meshing, solid and air domain, for structural and fluid flow simulation

Thanks to

  • G. Limbert, First Numerics
  • G. Tabor, University of Exeter
  • B. Walker (ARUP)

Image Processing

A high resolution MicroCT scan (3µm) of the auxetic foam was imported into Simpleware ScanIP. Noise reduction on the background image was applied and main regions were segmented using the automated threshold tool. Two masks representing the foam and surrounding air were extracted.

Foam segmentation from microCT in Simpleware ScanIP

Mesh Generation

Simpleware FE was used to generate a multipart mesh for finite element analysis within minutes. The software guaranties matching nodes and elements at the contact surface. Also node sets were created at the boundaries of the material. Several meshes were exported to ABAQUS, Fluent and LS-DYNA®.

Multipart mesh of auxetic foam in Simpleware FE


Finite element and  fluid flow simulations were run. ABAQUS was used to perform a structural analysis showing elasto plasticity within the materials. In Fluent a fluid flow simulation was run, showing the flow velocity through the air domain and fluid-solid interaction. Finally an impact simulation was performed using LS-DYNA® to show the deformation of the foam under a dynamic load.

Auxetic foam simulation in LS-DYNA®: elasto-plastic compression, stretch and shear

Any Questions?

Do you have any questions about this case study or how to use Simpleware software for your own workflows?