Vol. 5, No. 2, 2010

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ISSN: 1559-3959
Energy absorption of a helicoidal bistable structure

Seubpong Leelavanichkul, Andrej Cherkaev, Daniel O. Adams and Florian Solzbacher

Vol. 5 (2010), No. 2, 305–321
Abstract

The concept of a bistable structure as an energy absorbing structure is presented. A bistable structure is capable of distributing damage throughout the whole body, thus increasing the amount of energy dissipation. Using this concept, a helicoidal bistable structure is developed. We investigate a structure in which a helicoidal orthotropic shell envelops a solid cylinder. The center core of the structure is treated as a linear-elastic isotropic material. Numerical simulations of damage (breakages) are performed under static loads, and the force-displacement relation is obtained as a result. As an energy absorbing structure, the helicoidal bistable structure can absorb more energy than a conventional structure before it fails. The helicoidal bistable structure can be designed to sustain a small elongation while still being able to release energy effectively. The additional twisting degrees of freedom correspond to the additional energy released in the process of elongation.

Keywords
bistable structure, helicoidal composites, energy absorption, damage
Milestones
Received: 6 February 2009
Revised: 23 June 2009
Accepted: 20 August 2009
Published: 30 August 2010
Authors
Seubpong Leelavanichkul
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
Andrej Cherkaev
Department of Mathematics
University of Utah
155 S. 1400 E.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
Daniel O. Adams
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
Florian Solzbacher
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States