A new finite element (FE) specific failure criterion utilizing hardening rates to quantify bending stress is implemented into the MAT_124 material model in the commercial software LS-DYNA to simulate fracture of extruded AZ31 and cast AM60 magnesium alloy tubes. The simulations are performed by requiring element erosion of hexahedral solid elements in a three-dimensional (3D) FE model when the failure criterion is satisfied at any point in the simulation. Experimental stress–strain curves from tensile and compression tests of the materials are used as inputs in the model. The simulations reproduce the measured load displacement data as well as general features of the experimental failure modes of round and rectangular tubes undergoing axial crush tests. The model is applied to investigate the effects of a variety of design features, such as varying tube wall thickness, preformed bulges, alternate bands of Al and Mg alloys, and cladding Al on magnesium, on the macroscopic strain to failure. The results show that adding multiple preformed bulges to the tubes can increase the strain to failure and reduce the force required to cause deformation. Adding a single bulge concentrates the strain causing reduced macroscopic strain to failure. Placing sections of reduced wall thickness or brazing in sections of aluminum causes stress concentrations which reduce the macroscopic strain to failure. Cladding aluminum onto the outside of the magnesium tube is shown to improve strain to failure.

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