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Modelling the side impact of carbon fiber tubes
conference contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ranjani Sudharsan, Bernard RolfeBernard Rolfe, Peter HodgsonPeter Hodgson
Metallic tubes have been extensively studied for their crashworthiness as they closely resemble automotive crash rails. Recently, the demand to improve fuel economy and reduce vehicle emissions has led automobile manufacturers to explore the crash properties of light weight materials such as fibre reinforced polymer composites, metallic foams and sandwich structures in order to use them as crash barriers. This paper discusses the response of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) tubes and their failure mechanisms during side impact. The energy absorption of CFRP tubes is compared to similar Aluminium tubes. The response of the CFRP tubes during impact was modelled using Abaqus finite element software with a composite fabric material model. The material inputs were given based on standard tension and compression test results and the in-plane damage was defined based on cyclic shear tests. The failure modes and energy absorption observed during the tests were well represented by the finite element model.