Mechanical engineering faculty receives NSF grant

Dr. Behrad Koohbor, an assistant professor in Rowan University’s mechanical engineering department has been awarded a $279,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The award is for his research titled, Investigations of Density-graded Auxetic Foams at Multiple Scales. The study is a collaborative effort with San Diego State University.

Polymeric foams affect various aspects of our daily lives. These materials are most widely used as protective components in car bumpers, shoes, helmets, protective padding in action sports, etc. This research aims to improve the mechanical behavior and the impact energy absorption performance of foams by modifying their material and microstructure.

“Our goal is to understand how different microstructural aspects of these novel foams contribute to the impact energy absorption capacity of the material,” explained Koohbor. “This understanding will enable us to develop new lightweight foams that can more efficiently protect humans from common impact-induced injuries.”

In particular, the study will focus on a novel derivative of foams, known as auxetic foams, wherein the cell structure of the material has unique characteristics that enable further enhancement of the properties at larger scales.