In this study, strain rate effects on the compressive mechanical properties of randomly structured carbon nanotube (CNT) networks were examined. For this purpose, three-dimensional atomistic models of CNT networks with covalently-bonded junctions were generated. After that, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of compressive loading were performed at five different strain rates to investigate the basic deformation characteristic mechanisms of CNT networks and determine the effect of strain rate on stress-strain curves. The simulation results showed that the strain rate of compressive loading increases, so that a higher resistance of specimens to deformation is observed. Furthermore, the local deformation characteristics of CNT segments, which are mainly driven by bending and buckling modes, and their prevalence are strongly affected by the deformation rate. It was also observed that CNT networks have superior features to metal foams such as metal matrix syntactic foams (MMSFs) and porous sintered fiber metals (PSFMs) in terms of energy absorbing capabilities. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.