Biomechanical Evaluation of Headwear System Prototypes using Digital Human Modeling 2009-01-2267
Digital human modeling allows for the evaluation of equipment designs before physically building and testing prototypes. This paper presents an example of how digital human modeling was used to perform biomechanical studies on four new designs for future infantry headwear systems. Range of Motion (ROM) and cervical spine forces and moments were compared using static and dynamic simulations in a virtual environment. Results confirmed that headwear system prototypes with optimal overall mass and Centre of Mass (CM) location, as determined by previous human subject trials, exerted the least amount of biomechanical loading. Facial protection was favorable when considering forces and moments in the cervical spine, however when considering ROM, the rigid prototype mandible guards used in this evaluation are not recommended. The shape of a more accommodating mandible guard was developed, and the option to remove facial protection for some tasks was recommended.