Vol. 8, No. 1, 2013

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ISSN: 1559-3959
Tubular aluminum cellular structures: fabrication and mechanical response

Ryan L. Holloman, Vikram Deshpande, Arve G. Hanssen, Katherine M. Fleming, John R. Scully and Haydn N. G. Wadley

Vol. 8 (2013), No. 1, 65–94
Abstract

We explore a novel cellular topology structure based upon assemblies of square cross section tubes oriented in a cross-ply 2D and orthogonal 3D arrangements that can be tailored to support different combinations of through thickness and in-plane loads. A simple dip brazing approach is used to fabricate these structures from assemblies of extruded 6061-T6 aluminum alloy tubes and the through thickness compression of a variety of structures is investigated experimentally and with finite element modeling. We find that the 3D orthogonal structures have an approximately linear dependence of modulus upon relative density. However the strength has a power law dependence upon density with an exponent of approximately 5/3. These cellular structures exhibit almost ideal plastic energy absorption at pressures that can be selected by adjustment of the vertical and in-plane tube wall thicknesses. A finite element model with a nonlinear hardening constitutive law is used to explore the buckling modes of the structure, and to investigate the relationship between cell topology, relative density, tube wall material properties and the cellular structures resistance to compression.

Keywords
cellular structures, 6061 aluminum, impact energy absorption
Milestones
Received: 4 September 2012
Revised: 19 October 2012
Accepted: 30 October 2012
Published: 28 March 2013
Authors
Ryan L. Holloman
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
Vikram Deshpande
Engineering Department
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge
CB2 1PZ
United Kingdom
Arve G. Hanssen
IMPETUS Afea AS
Strandgaten 32
N-4400 Flekkefjord
Norway
Katherine M. Fleming
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
John R. Scully
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
http://www.virginia.edu/cese/
Haydn N. G. Wadley
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
http://www.ipm.virginia.edu/