Browse Publications Technical Papers 2012-01-0101

Aortic Mechanics in High-Speed Racing Crashes 2012-01-0101

Auto racing has been in vogue from the time automobiles were first built. With the dawn of modern cars came higher engine capacities; the speeds involved in these races and crashes increased as well. However, the advent of passive restraint systems such as the helmet, HANS (Head and Neck Support device), multi-point harness system, roll cage, side and frontal crush zones, racing seats, fire retardant suits, and soft-wall technology, have greatly improved the survivability of the drivers in high-speed racing crashes.
Three left lateral crashes from Begeman and Melvin (2002), Case #LAS12, #IND14 and #99TX were used as inputs to the Wayne State Human Body Model (WSHBM) in a simulated racing buck. Twelve simulations with delta-v, six-point harness and shoulder pad as design variables were analyzed for the average maximum principal strain (AMPS) in the aorta. The average AMPS for the high-speed crashes were 0.1551±0.0172 while the average maximum pressure was 110.50±4.25 kPa. The average AMPS reported was significantly less than those reported in real-world accident reconstructions Belwadi et al., 2011 and Siegel et al., 2010, bi-axial material testing (Shah et al., 2006), and in whole body cadavers impacts (Hardy et al., 2008). The seat and shoulder support pads plays a crucial role in injury mitigation to the thorax in high-speed racing crashes.


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