An Assessment of Add-on Energy Absorbing Devices for Vehicle Crashworthiness

[+] Author and Article Information
Kuang-Huei Lin

Engineering Mechanics Department, General Motors Research Laboratories, Warren, Mich. 48090

G. Thomas Mase

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wy. 82071

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 112(4), 406-411 (Oct 01, 1990) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2903350 History: Received June 01, 1989; Revised September 20, 1989; Online April 29, 2008


An alternative approach to vehicle crashworthiness improvement by inserting add-on nonstructural energy absorbing (EA) devices in the unutilized space in series with existing load paths is studied conceptually. Vehicle-barrier impact simulations are conducted to determine the energy absorption and crushable space requirements for the add-on devices. Based on the experimental data available in the literature, a number of materials are identified as being capable of meeting these requirements. Simple tubes and honeycombs in axial crushing mode are found to be more effective as add-on EA devices than complex devices such as inversion tubes. Foam filling of primary structural members in bending mode is found to be less effective in increasing energy absorbing capacity than add-on EA devices. While the study indicates a theoretical assessment of these devices, physical limitations may inhibit their usefullness. In particular, many of the devices are highly directional in nature.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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