Crashworthiness of High and Low Pressure Hydroformed Straight Section Aluminum Tubes 2005-01-0095
There exists considerable motivation to reduce vehicle weight through the adoption of lightweight materials while maintaining energy absorption and component integrity under crash conditions. Finite element simulations were performed based on impact tests with straight sections of AlMg3.5Mn aluminum alloy tubes that were hydroformed using a high or low pressure operation. A tube formed with the low pressure operation will experience considerably less strain or work hardening and will retain greater residual ductility compared to a tube formed under high pressure, with a trade-off being that the tube will have a smaller cross-section. In the high pressure process, tubes will likely experience more work hardening in the corner-fill region. The energy-absorption behaviour during impact can be affected by the work hardening, residual stresses, thickness changes, and shape of the cross-section after the hydroforming operation. It was found that the energy absorption during impact decreased with decreasing corner-fill radius of the hydroformed tube.