This article contains a brief review of the literature, published since the previous Applied Mechanics Reviews article in 1989 [1], on the dynamic plastic response of basic structural members made from ductile metallic type materials. The external dynamic loads cause large inelastic strains in the structural members which dominate material elastic effects. Thus, the external dynamic energy is absorbed plastically and, generally speaking, produces large permanent deformations. This field of research is of interest for the structural crashworthiness and collision protection of land, sea and air transportation systems, as well as the design of energy absorbing systems, and provides vital input into safety calculations and hazard assessments throughout industry.

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