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Design of efficient energy-absorbing members using aluminum extrusions
Published June 03, 1996 by ISATA - Dusseldorf Trade Fair in United Kingdom
Event: ISATA 1996
Tighter packaging and the drive to make car structures lighter have forced body designers to develop more size and weight efficient designs. The design of energy-absorbing (EA) members is further constrained by more stringent safety mandates. This has necessitated development of more weight and space efficient energy-absorbing members in the structure.
Packaging constraints, such as the need for accurate, easily located attachments to the rails, have limited the use of circular cross-sections -- the most efficient EA geometry. Some alternatives to a simple rectangular section with higher EA efficiency have been proposed but their shapes, and hence their efficiencies, have been constrained by the sheet part fabrication and joining process.
Here we describe the development of a lightweight extruded aluminum EA member. The flexibility offered by the extrusion process has been used to fabricate a cross-section that both meets the stringent packaging requirements and provides high energy-absorbing efficiency at minimal fabrication cost.