Open Access
Atli Veltin, Bilim
Graduate Program:
Aerospace Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 07, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Farhan S Gandhi, Dissertation Advisor
  • Farhan S Gandhi, Committee Chair
  • Edward C Smith, Committee Member
  • Ashok D Belegundu, Committee Member
  • George A Lesieutre, Committee Member
  • honeycomb crushing
  • energy absorption
  • cellular honeycombs
In aerospace field, use of honeycombs in energy absorbing applications is a very attractive concept since they are relatively low weight structures and their crushing behavior satisfies the requirements of ideal energy absorbing applications. This dissertation is about the utilization of honeycomb crushing in energy absorbing applications and maximizing their specific energy absorption (SEA) capacity by modifying their geometry. In-plane direction crushing of honeycombs is investigated with the help of simulations conducted with ABAQUS. Due to the nonlinearity of the problem an optimization technique could not be implemented; however, the results of the trend studies lead to geometries with improved SEA. This study has two objectives; the first is to obtain modified cell geometry for a hexagonal honeycomb cell in order to provide higher energy absorption for minimum weight relative to the regular hexagonal cell geometry which has 30° cell angle and walls at equal length. The results of the first objective show that by increasing the cell angle, increasing wall thickness and reducing vertical wall length it is possible to increase the SEA 4.8 times; where the honeycomb with modified geometry provided 3.3 kJ/kg SEA and with regular geometry 0.68 kJ/kg SEA. The second objective considers integration of the energy absorbing honeycombs into the helicopter subfloor, possibly as the web section of a keel beam. In-plane direction crushing of a honeycomb core sandwiched between two facesheets is simulated. Effects of core and facesheet geometric parameters on the energy absorption are investigated, and modified geometries are suggested. For the sandwich structure with thin facesheets increasing cell angle, increasing wall thicknesses and decreasing the cell depth increase the SEA. For the ones with thick facesheet reducing vertical wall length, increasing wall thicknesses and reducing the cell depth increase the SEA. The results show that regular honeycomb geometry with thin facesheets has SEA of 7.24 kJ/kg and with thick facesheets 13.16 kJ/kg. When the geometries are modified the SEA increases to 20.5 kJ/kg for the core with thin facesheets and 53.47 kJ/kg for the core with thick facesheets. The key finding of the dissertation is that the in-plane direction crushing of the honeycombs with facesheets has great potential to be used for the energy absorbing applications since their SEA levels are high enough to make them attractive for applications where high crash loads need to be absorbed such as helicopter crash.