• Shuo Lu

Student thesis: Phd


For an ideal impact energy absorber, the initial peak force should be low and the average crushing force should be high. Also, a long stroke and a stable force history are expected. The thin-walled tube under axial loads is a kind of energy absorber that can produce controlled progressive collapse during a crash. It is a promising collapse mechanism for energy absorption with demonstrated success in industry. But the conventional thin-walled tubes still have high initial peak force and force fluctuations during a crushing process. To help to achieve a better energy absorbing structure, a research work has been carried out in this thesis. The aim of the present research is to achieve an improved understanding of the crushing behaviour of thin-walled tubes under axial loads. In the study, the entire crushing process, including the initial stage of collapse, its localization and the subsequent progressive folding has been carefully investigated by experiment. The relation between the localized plastic deformation and the corresponding crushing force is built by comparing the cross section of series of specimens and their load-displacement curves, which give a deep insight of the collapse mechanism of circular thin-walled tube under axial loads. Then some trigger systems are proposed, which is proved to be a good way to reduce the initial peak force and influence the collapse behaviour. To achieve higher energy absorbing efficiency, the multi-cell thin-walled tube has been investigated. Finally, based on the analysis in this study, a new multi-cell profile which is composed of coaxial tubes with different lengths and dented grooves is proposed. The new design is proved to be a good energy absorber with low initial peak force and very high energy absorption efficiency.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • specific energy absorption, average crushing force, initial peak force

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