Prediction of the Behaviors of Adhesively Bonded Steel Hat Section Components under Axial Impact Loading

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1461

  • 2017-03-28
Adhesively bonded steel hat section components have been experimentally studied in the past as a potential alternative to traditional hat section components with spot-welded flanges. One of the concerns with such components has been their performance under axial impact loading as adhesive is far more brittle as compared to a spot weld. However, recent drop-weight impact tests have shown that the energy absorption capabilities of adhesively bonded steel hat sections are competitive with respect to geometrically similar spot-welded specimens. Although flange separation may take place in the case of a specimen employing a rubber toughened epoxy adhesive, the failure would have taken place post progressive buckling and absorption of impact energy. The better-than-expected performance of an adhesively bonded component subjected to axial impact load is likely due to the evenly spread adhesive over the entire flange areas of the hat section as compared to discrete spot welds in a conventional component. In the current study, numerical prediction of the behaviors of axially impacted adhesively bonded double-hat section components has been carried out using explicit finite element modeling and analysis. The formed plates in a double-hat section member are represented with solid or shell elements while the adhesive in between either of the twin flanges is modeled with solid elements. To start with, simple constitutive models are explored in which strain rate effect is incorporated and the effect of failure strain on prediction of lap shear and T-peel joint strengths is investigated. On obtaining satisfactory correlation for the coupon-level tests mentioned, the finite element modeling approach is extended to the axial impact simulation of double-hat section components at different drop-weight impactor velocities and the capability of predicting key crash parameters such as peak load, mean load and total axial crush is demonstrated.
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