Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

David Fleming

Second Advisor

Razvan Rusovici

Third Advisor

Ronnal Reichard


Energy absorbing structures (EAS) are structures used to make the frame of a vehicle absorb energy during an impact scenario and keep the deceleration forces within survivable limits for the occupant(s). These structures are found in all sorts of vehicles, such as cars, helicopters, airplanes, etc., and come in many types of shapes (circular, square, triangular tubes and flat or curved plates) and materials (metals and composites). In this thesis, 304 Stainless Steel tubes with circular and square cross-sections are investigated when subject to off-axis loading at angles at 0, 5, 15 and 25°. The square tubes had two different loading orientations; tilting the plate so that it starts crushing from a side of the square cross-section (Square) and tilting so that it starts crushing from a vertex (SquareV). To analyze the buckling behavior of these tubes, finite element analysis (FEA) methodology was used. The local buckling mode for all tube’s cross-sections, loading angles, and setups were investigated and related back to the crush force behavior. Circular tubes were able to absorb the most energy and had the least variation in energy absorbed with loading angle, followed by the square tubes with a SquareV setup, and lastly the square tubes with a Square loading orientation