Post Tensioned CFRP tubes for improved energy absorption
Thin-walled tubes made of CFRP (Carbon fiber reinforced Polymer) are being increasingly used as CC (Crush Cans) due to their higher specific energy absorption capacity in the automotive domain for absorbing impact energy during a frontal crash. Finite element analysis (FEA) based computational methods have matured over the years with increased accuracy and acceptable correlation with experimental results. FEA-based computational studies when used appropriately can reduce the number of physical tests and prototypes required besides accelerating the overall cycle design time. The present work proposes an FEA based design validation approach for the evaluation of post-tensioned crush can design that can absorb more impact energy compared to a normal CFRP thin tube. The FEM based method uses a combination of multiple simulation techniques to predict the behavior of a post-tensioned tube. The post-tensioning in the present work has been proposed in the form of internal pressure for the thin tube. It was found that a safe value of pressure, when applied as a post-tensioning load, can improve the energy absorption capacity without increasing the weight of the tube.