An energy-absorbing block is described for use as (or in conjunction with) bumpers and similar objects used to receive and dissipate large amounts of impact energy. The block includes an inner core at least partially formed of elastomeric materials, such as rubber from discarded vehicle tires, with the core being at least substantially surrounded by an outer shell which is preferably at least partially formed of a rigid thermoplastic material. The block may also contain a reinforcing layer of material, such as glass fiber or fabric, positioned between the core and the shell or interspersed within the shell. The block may be mounted to a bumper such as a guardrail, and/or to a mounting structure such as a guardrail post or loading dock, via a fastener inserted through a mounting bore in the block.
 This invention was made with United States government support awarded by the following agencies:
 DOE (Dept. of Energy) Grant No. DE-FC26-00FT40598
 The United States has certain rights in this invention.