The experimental techniques and the results obtained in a program to evaluate the assumptions of dynamic, rigid-plastic theory of beams are presented. The experiments used steel and aluminum-alloy cantilever beams subjected to either a rapid velocity change at the base or to an impulsive load at the tip. A rigid-plastic theory that includes the strain-rate dependence of the yield stress and geometry changes is outlined for the case of the tip impulsive loading. The predictions of this theory are in satisfactory agreement with the experimental results.

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