Theoretical, numerical and experimental studies were conducted on the axial crushing behavior of traditional single-cell and innovative four-cell extrusions. Two commercial aluminum alloys, 6061 and 6063, both with two tempers (T4 and T6), were considered in the study. Testing coupons taken from the extrusions assessed the nonlinear material properties. A theoretical solution was available for the one-cell design, and was developed for the mean crushing force of the four-cell section. Numerical simulations were carried out using the explicit finite element code LS-DYNA. The aluminum alloy 6063T4 was found to absorb less energy than 6061T4, for both the one-cell and four-cell configurations. Both 6061 and 6063 in the T6 temper were found to have significant fracture in the experimental testing. Theoretical analysis and numerical simulations predicted a greater number of folds for the four-cell design, as compared to the one-cell design, and this was confirmed in the experiments. The theoretical improvement in energy absorption of 57% for the four-cell in comparison with the one-cell design was confirmed by experiment. The good agreement between the theoretical, numerical and experimental results allows confidence in the application of the theoretical and numerical tools for both single-cell and innovative four-cell extrusions. It was also demonstrated that these materials have very little dynamic strain rate effect.

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