Energy absorption of aluminum alloy thin-walled tubes under axial impact
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Aluminum alloys are important technological materials for achieving the lightweight design of automotive structures. Many works have reported on the deformation and energy absorption of thin-walled tubes. Multicorner tubes with extra concave corners in the cross section were presented in this study to improve the energy absorption efficiency of aluminum alloy thin-walled tubes. The axial crushing of square and multicorner thin-walled tubes was simulated with the same cross-sectional perimeter. The method of folding element was applied to predict the crushing behavior of the thin-walled tubes under axial impact. The corners on the cross section were discussed to determine their effect on the energy absorption performance of thin-walled tubes. Results showed that the increasing performance of energy absorption of aluminum alloy thin-walled tubes was caused by the increasing number of corners on the cross section of multicorner tubes. Both the number and size of corners had an important effect on the crushing force efficiency of multicorner tubes. The maximum crushing force efficiency of multicorner tubes was 11.6% higher than that of square tubes with the same material consumption of thin-walled tubes. The multicorner tubes with 12 corners showed better energy absorption performance than the tubes with more than 12 corners; this high number of corners could lead to the small size of corners or unstable deformations. The high energy absorption performance of multicorner tubes prefers increasing the corner number and corner size of adjacent sides at the same time.
KeywordsAluminum alloy Axial impact Deformation Energy absorption Thin-walled tubes
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