Over the past few decades, much research work has been conducted on the development of advance crashworthy structures to increase the energy absorption of mechanical systems. Thin-walled tubes are primarily used as structural reinforcements and as energy absorbing components. The high-energy absorption characteristics of cellular foams have attracted great attention to further enhance this superior capability. In particular, nanotechnology has been utilized in the development of advanced cellular materials for the automotive and aerospace industry. The primary objective of this study is to conduct a parametric study using experimental and finite element methods to examine and quantify the performances of thin-walled tube when filled with carbon nano particulates. To accomplish this study, compression tests are carried out to obtain the load-deflection curves of the nano-foams when subjected to different weight percentages of carbon nano fibers. Next, the specific energy absorbed and the collapse mechanism of nano foam filled thin-walled tubes are analyzed and compared with the empty ones. Finally, an illustrative study on the use of nano foams for vehicular applications is presented by using a vehicle bumper numerical model. The carbon nano foam is installed into the cavity of the bumper model and a full-frontal crash simulation is performed. Overall, this study has shown that the energy absorption capacity of thin-walled structures can be significantly enhanced with the use of carbon nano foams.

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