Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



United States Patent Reid et al. Patent No.: US 6,457,570 B2


A bursting energy absorber System having an impact head, and energy absorption mechanism. The energy absorbing mechanism has a generally rectangular mandrel for rupturing cooperating thin-walled generally rectangular tubes in a controlled rupture to absorb impact forces for a colliding vehicle. A frame may be used to mount the System to a truck, trailer, guardrail, median barrier end treatment, or a crash cushion. Stress concetrators such as saw cuts or scoring may be incorporated into the absorption tubes to selectively control rupturing and energy dissipation. The mandrels may be tapered, rectangulary shaped with beveled edges to reduce frictional forces along the interior comers of the tubes. Lubricants may be applied to further control frictional influences.