Three-Point Bending Crash Performance of Advanced High Strength Steels
Drop tower crash tests in a three-point bending configuration were carried out on spot welded box sections, adhesive bonded box sections, and laser welded cylindrical tubes made from a variety of advanced high strength steels. In the tests, a 147-kg indenter with a 28-cm diameter impacts the specimen at approximately 6 m/s, and the bending loads and energy absorption are determined. The results show that the maximum bending loads best correlate to the product of yield strength and thickness-squared, while the energy absorbed over 10-cm displacement best correlates to ultimate tensile strength times thickness-squared. As such, higher strength steels can be used to improve crash performance without increasing weight or to maintain crash performance with weight reduction. Other significant findings of the study are as follows. Bake hardening alone may improve bending crash performance slightly, while cold rolling and baking does not.