Magnesium for crashworthy components

T. Abbott, M. Easton, R. Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

Abstract

Most applications of magnesium in automobiles are for nonstructural components. However, the light weight properties of magnesium make it attractive in structural applications where energy absorption in a crash is critical. Because most deformation in a crash occurs as bending rather than simple tension or compression, the advantages of magnesium are greater than anticipated simply from tensile strength to weight ratios. The increased thickness possible with magnesium strongly influences bending behavior and theoretical calculations suggest almost an order of magnitude greater energy absorption with magnesium compared to the same weight of steel. The strain rate sensitivity of steel is of concern for energy absorption. Mild steels exhibit a distinct yield point which increases with strain rate. At strain rates typical of vehicle impact, this can result in strain localization and poor energy absorption. Magnesium alloys with relatively low aluminum contents exhibit strain rate sensitivity, however, this is manifest as an increase in work hardening and tensile / yield ratio. This behavior suggests that the performance of magnesium alloys in terms of energy absorption actually improves at high strain rates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEssential Readings in Magnesium Technology
EditorsSuveen N. Mathaudhu, Alan A. Luo, Neale R. Neelameggham, Eric A. Nyberg, Wim H. Sillekens
Place of PublicationHoboken NJ USA
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Pages463-466
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781118859803
ISBN (Print)9781118858943
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Crashworthy components
  • Energy absorption
  • Strain localization
  • Strain rate sensitivity
  • Tensile strength

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