A Comparison of the Mechanical Performance of AA6061-T6 Extrusions Subjected to Axial Crushing and Axial Cutting
Conventional axially loaded energy absorbers dissipate kinetic energy through progressive folding. The significant fluctuations in load and high risk of transition to global bending are drawbacks that engineers have attempted to mitigate through several methods. A novel energy dissipation mechanism, referred to as axial cutting, utilizes thin-walled extrusions and a strengthened cutting tool to absorb energy in an axial impact. Compared to progressive folding, this can be achieved with minimal fluctuations in load during the deformation process. Based upon estimates from finite element models, a series of test cases were postulated where, for 8 and 10-bladed cutting scenarios, greater total energy absorption could be achieved through axial cutting than with progressive folding of geometrically similar extrusions. The specimens were AA6061 extrusions having T6 temper conditions that possessed 63.5 mm outer diameters and 1.5 mm wall thicknesses.