They are ultralight, excellent energy absorbers, and they may save your life. This brilliant mix of properties explains why polymer foams play the leading role in Daniel Thor Morton´s doctoral dissertation.


PhD candidate Daniel Thor Morton at SFI CASA NTNU has investigated foams used in the bumpers of modern cars. The aim? To understand, describe, and model how these materials respond to impact under different loading rates, in different climatic conditions and under varying temperatures. To fulfil the task, he has delved deep down into the foam´s interior.
Illustrasjon. Datamodell av polymer-skum.Morton´s research efforts have been to develop a micromechanical model that resembles the foam structure and describes its behaviour.


«The purpose of our research is to enable the industry to more efficiently design and develop components by utilizing virtual models and engineering software. The design process, and ultimately the product, benefits from improvements in efficiency and accuracy of these tools», Morton says. 

The combination of low weight and excellent energy absorption makes polymer foams highly attractive to the industry. When applied in cars and bumpers, they serve as pedestrian impact protection. You will also find them in personal protective equipment like helmets. Besides, they can be tailored for specific use in the packing industry, electronic, aerospace, building construction, bedding, and medical applications. 

Read more about Morton´s research at

The thesis, «Characterization and modelling of polymer foam’s mechanical behaviour, » is part of his doctoral work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Structural Engineering.

The public defence of the thesis takes place on Zoom 10th June at 15:15.

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Meeting ID: 971 7450 6985

Passcode: 012916