Simulating the Response of a Composite Honeycomb Energy Absorber. II: Full-Scale Impact Testing

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sponsored research to evaluate an externally deployable composite honeycomb designed to attenuate loads in the event of a helicopter crash. The concept, designated the deployable energy absorber (DEA), is an expandable Kevlar honeycomb. The DEA incorporates a flexible hinge that allows the honeycomb to be stowed collapsed until needed during an emergency. Evaluation of the DEA began with material characterization of the Kevlar-129 fabric/epoxy and ended with a full-scale crash test of a retrofitted MD-500 helicopter. During each evaluation phase, finite-element (FE) models of the test articles were developed, and simulations were performed using the dynamic FE code LS-DYNA. This paper focuses on simulations of two full-scale impact tests involving the DEA: a mass simulator and a DEA-retrofitted MD-500 helicopter. Isotropic (Mat 24) and composite (Mat 58) material models that were assigned to DEA shell elements were compared. Based on simulation results, the Mat 58 model showed better agreement with the test results.


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  • Accession Number: 01526105
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2014 4:21PM