The novel mechanical behavior of perlite/sodium silicate composite foam, a type of syntactic foam made of non-spherical particles, subjected to compression is studied in relation to plane stress and plane strain conditions. Plane stress and plane strain conditions were conceptualized and experimentally verified using various specimen sizes with aspect ratios ranging from 0.25 to 1.5 for compressive strength and modulus. Two distinctive sets of compression properties dependent on plane stress/strain were produced for practical characterization. The greatest compressive strength occurring under plane strain dominant condition was experimentally found to be ∼50 % greater than the lowest value occurring under plane stress dominant condition. The greatest compressive modulus occurring under plane stress dominant condition was also experimentally found to be ∼ 200 % greater than the lowest value occurring under plane strain dominant condition. A new failure mode under plane strain dominant condition for perlite foam was found to be the progressive densification of individual perlite particles.
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