Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Absorbing energy in a crash
Name: jdang
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
What are the most efficient ways to absorb energy in a crash i.e. certain structures, foams, etc.?



Replies:
I am going to ask more questions of you before answering specifically. I assume that you are talking about a car crash. If so, some parameters need to be defined. 1) Do you want to simply absorb energy and transfer (i.e. heat) or do you want to absorb and reflect (as in rubber or spring steel)? 2) Is this material space sensitive (in other words, do you care about its size)? 3) Is it weight sensitive? 4) How much force are you trying to stop, and at what acceleration? An aircraft at 300,000 pound gross weight travelling at 400 mph is different than a bicycle and rider travelling at 10 mph with a gross weight of 100 pounds. If you are concerned about human survival, than an acceleration of about 5 - 7 g's for a short time is about the limit of most human survival. All of these things must be taken into consideration when considering an energy absorbing/converting material. Write me with a few more specifics, and I will be glad to help as much as I can.

dipper



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory