Impact Energy Absorption Capability of Polygonal Cross-Section Thin-Walled Beams under Lateral Impact
The continuing efforts of automotive technology aim to deliver even greater safety benefits and reduce the weight of a vehicle. Thin-walled beams (TWB) are widely used as strengtheners or energy absorbers in vehicle bodies due to their lightweight and excellent energy absorption capacity. Thus, researchers are interested in the collapse behaviour and mechanical properties of thin-walled beams under static and dynamic loadings. Circular TWB is commonly used in vehicle side doors. In the event of a side collision, this beam deforms and absorbs the greatest amount of impact energy. In this study, the energy absorption capability and crashworthiness of polygonal cross-section TWBs subjected to lateral impact was investigated using numerical simulations. Polygonal TWB ranging from square to dodecagon, as well as circular cross section, were selected for this study. Energy absorption (EA), specific energy absorption (SEA) and crash force efficiency (CFE) crashworthiness indicators are employed to evaluate the bending collapse performance. Because TWB thickness and weight have a greater impact on bending performance, they were kept constant across all polygons. In ABAQUS explicit dynamic software, finite element simulations are performed, and plastic hinges and flattening patterns of all polygons are examined. The results show that heptagon, octagon, and nonagon cross-section TWB perform better in crashworthiness than square and circular TWB.