Title: Biomimicry, and Materials Development for Impact Energy Absorption
Authors: Tony McConnell
Abstract: While scientists have studied ways to maximize automotive safety for over a century, nature has been developing and evolving complex bio-structures that are highly efficient at absorbing impact energy and protecting lifeforms for millions of years. We investigated a few of nature’s inspiring materials and found a regular theme of functionally graded cellular foam structures within their forms. A structure was then mimicked in a Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) foam to provide a simple hexagon geometry that was tested as a possible material for energy absorption, and as a core material for composite sandwich construction. It is known that functionally graded structures are effective at allowing materials to transition energy properties through their constructs, whether those properties be thermal, stress, impact, or other physical related properties. Additive Manufacturing processes such as 3D Printing are particularly suited to creating functionally graded structures in materials, but the challenges of high-volume production at low cost have hindered the widespread adoption of Additive Manufacturing as a manufacturing process, especially in the automotive industry. We explore the use of a high-speed CNC wire cut subtractive process to create simple lattice structures and determine their suitability for creating passive energy management materials, and composite sandwich core applications.
References:  Gibson L. J., and Ashby M. F., “Cellular Solids; Structures and Properties “Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition 1997.  Miyamoto Y., Kaysser W. A., Rabin B. H., Kawasaki A., and Ford R. G., “Functionally graded materials: design, processing and applications” Material technology series, 1999.  Muhammad Ali, A Qamhiyah, D Flugrad, M Shakoor, Theoretical and finite element study of a compact energy absorber, Advances in Engineering Software, 2008
Conference: CAMX 2022
Publication Date: 2022/10/17
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