University at Buffalo engineers developed the latest energy dissipation device claimed to be having wide applications in transportation & safety. The device is cost-effective since it uses low-cost metallic materials and it has a simple design.
The device is designed in a way to possess both high stiffness( the ability to bear loads and resist collapsing) and high damping which means it can dissipate energy. It has various applications from automobiles, and ship buffers to helicopters, drones and more.
“Most energy absorbers carrying high stiffness work by crushing or collapsing upon impact. This reduces physical damage to the vehicle, or whatever the absorbers are protecting, but it requires the
replacement of internal and external parts following the collision,” says the study’s senior author, Jongmin Shim, PhD, associate professor of structural engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Our structure is unique in that it enables impact energy to detour around the vehicle. It’s comprised of one column with a flange at each end. These flanges have hinges that allow the normally rigid column to snap out of place, which converts external energy into kinetic energy of the disconnected column, eventually protecting the vehicle,” he adds.
The engineers claim that the device could easily be scaled up or down to other dimensions because of the simplicity in design.