1980-02-01

Energy Absorption of Plastic, Steel, and Aluminum Shells Under Impact Conditions 800371

ABSTRACT

The energy absorption of several automotive materials, i.e., reinforced plastics, steel, and aluminum, was determined at 70 and −40 F (21 and −40 C) by crushing curved shell specimens at impact speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h). This specimen, which resembles a small body part, permitted comparing the energy-absorption characteristics of widely diverse engineering materials under identical simulative highway conditions.

Steel absorbed up to 20 times more total energy than did the reinforced plastics and over twice that absorbed by aluminum for the same thickness. Aluminum absorbed more energy per unit weight than the other materials, but steel was considerably more cost-effective.

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