Internal vs. External Chest Deformation Response to Shoulder Belt Loading, Part 1: Table-Top Tests 2009-01-0393
This study presents a detailed comparison of internally and externally measured chest deflections resulting from eight tests conducted on three male post mortem human subjects. A hydraulically driven shoulder belt loaded the anterior thorax under a fixed spine condition while displacement data were obtained via a high-speed 16-camera motion capture system (VICON MX™). Comparison of belt displacement and sternal displacement measured at the bone surface provided a method for quantifying effective change in superficial soft tissue depth at the mid sternum under belt loading. The relationship between the external displacement and the decrease in the effective superficial tissue depth was found to be monotonic and nonlinear. At 65 mm of mid-sternal posterior displacement measured externally, the effective thickness of the superficial tissues and air gap between the belt and the skin had decreased by 14 mm relative to the unloaded state. A regression model relating effective soft tissue compression to externally measured chest deformation was developed to provide a method for estimating skeletal deflections from externally measured chestband data.