A one-dimensional model for impact deformation of open-celled structures is used to examine the effects of material elasticity, cell inertia, cell compliance characteristics and limited crushability. Analyses show that these parameters govern the development, distribution and severity of crushing in periodic, open-celled structures where individual cells strain-soften; coupled with impact velocity, they dictate the deceleration imparted to a colliding body. Comparisons with experiments on the impact crushing of metal tube arrays and rigid polyurethane foam yield reasonable qualitative correlation. A conclusion is drawn on the desired nature of cellular systems for efficient impact dissipation.

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