Energy Dissipation Properties of Laterally Crushed Tubes and Tubular Clusters 880903
Laterally loaded metallic tubes possess desirable energy dissipation properties which have led to their use as impact attenuation devices in highway safety applications. These attenuation devices are composed of arrays of metallic tubes in which energy is dissipated by inelastically deforming mild steel cylinders.
This paper describes the energy dissipation characteristics of braced and unbraced tubes and tubular clusters when subjected to quasi-static and impact loadings causing large deformations. The effects of strain rate, stress waves and collapse mode on the impact response and energy dissipation characteristics are described and results of full-scale crash tests for the crash cushion application are shown. The large-scale deformation of metallic tubes is shown to be an effective method for dissipating the energy associated with an impact event. Such systems have a life saving potential when employed in safety applications where kinetic energy must be dissipated in a controlled manner such that decelerations remain within allowable limits.