A Comparison of the Behaviors of Steel and GFRP Hat-Section Components under Axial Quasi-Static and Impact Loading
Hat-sections, single and double, made of steel are frequently encountered in automotive body structural components. These components play a significant role in terms of impact energy absorption during vehicle crashes thereby protecting occupants of vehicles from severe injury. However, with the need for higher fuel economy and for compliance to stringent emission norms, auto manufacturers are looking for means to continually reduce vehicle body weight either by employing lighter materials like aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics, or by using higher strength steel with reduced gages, or by combinations of these approaches. Unlike steel hat-sections which have been extensively reported in published literature, the axial crushing behavior of hat-sections made of fiber-reinforced composites may not have been adequately probed.