The paper presents experimental and theoretical results for the planar squeeze flow of a finite volume of viscoplastic material through a highly deformable porous layer. The central zone of an annular disc made of a reticulated polyurethane foam with high porosity (ε
> 0.97) was fully filled with tooth paste. The porous disc placed between two flat, impermeable, parallel, and rigid discs was subjected to compression and the normal force was recorded. After compression, the radial extension of the squeezed fluid was measured. The visualisation of the compressed disc managed to provide evidence of a tortuous flow inside the porous structure. An original analytical model is proposed for the prediction of the front of the flow inside the porous layer and corresponding resistant normal force. The model combines the Covey and Stanmore (1981) model for squeeze flow of a Bingham fluid inside the central zone, with an original approach for flow through the reticulated foams, based on the concept of “equivalent flow tubes
” with variable tortuosity. This explorative investigation is of interest for innovative shock absorbers. The model validity covers both low and high plasticity numbers and was experimentally validated for low speed.
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