Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-22-0015
2009-11-02

ES2 Neck Injury Assessment Reference Values for Lateral Loading in Side Facing Seats 2009-22-0015

Injury assessment reference values (IARV) predicting neck injuries are currently not available for side facing seated aircraft passengers in crash conditions. The aircraft impact scenario results in inertial loading of the head and neck, a condition known to be inherently different from common automotive side impact conditions as crash pulse and seating configurations are different. The objective of this study is to develop these IARV for the European Side Impact Dummy-2 (ES-2) previously selected by the US-FAA as the most suitable ATD for evaluating side facing aircraft seats. The development of the IARV is an extended analysis of previously published PMHS neck loads by identifying the most likely injury scenarios, comparing head-neck kinematics and neck loads of the ES2 versus PMHS, and development of injury risk curves for the ES2. The ES2 showed a similar kinematic response as the PMHS, particularly during the loading phase. The ES2 exhibited a stiffer response than the PMHS in the thoracic region, resulting in a faster rebound and smaller excursions in the vertical direction. Neck loads were consistent with results from previous authors and served as the basis for the ES2 neck injury risk curve developed here. Regression analysis of the previously published PMHS neck loads indicated that the tension force at the occipital condyles was the only neck load component with a significant correlation (Pearson r2=0.9158) to AIS3+ classified injuries. Tension force in the ES2 upper neck showed a weaker but still significant correlation with injury severity (r2=0.72) and is proposed to be used as an IARV with a tolerance of 2094 N for 50% AIS3+ risk. Although the prime focus of this study is on loading conditions typical in an aircraft crash environment, it is expected that the proposed IARV's can be used as an extension of typical automotive conditions, particularly for military vehicles and public transport applications where side facing upright seating configurations are more common.

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