Modeling of steel tube vehicular crash cushion

John F. Carney, Chris D. Austin, Steven R. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The energy dissipation characteristics of steel tube clusters are investigated with a view toward using such a system as a stationary energy absorbing device. Experiments performed on small scale models made up by connecting mild steel rings cut from tube stock are described. Six different configurations were chosen for testing to establish their stability and load-carrying capabilities, and all systems were tested both quasi-statically and dynamically. The energy adsorption properties of all six systems are shown to be remarkably insensitive to the line of action of the loading. For a given kinetic energy, an individual system collapsed by essentially the same amount regardless of whether the impact angle was 0° or 15° with respect to the line of symmetry of the device. A design example is presented in the paper to illustrate how the results of the model tests can be applied to design a full scale impact attenuation device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-346
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983


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