Development, Evaluation, and Sensitivity Analysis of Parametric Finite Element Whole-Body Human Models in Side Impacts 2016-22-0014
Occupant stature and body shape may have significant effects on injury risks in motor vehicle crashes, but the current finite element (FE) human body models (HBMs) only represent occupants with a few sizes and shapes. Our recent studies have demonstrated that, by using a mesh morphing method, parametric FE HBMs can be rapidly developed for representing a diverse population. However, the biofidelity of those models across a wide range of human attributes has not been established. Therefore, the objectives of this study are 1) to evaluate the accuracy of HBMs considering subject-specific geometry information, and 2) to apply the parametric HBMs in a sensitivity analysis for identifying the specific parameters affecting body responses in side impact conditions. Four side-impact tests with two male post-mortem human subjects (PMHSs) were selected to evaluate the accuracy of the geometry and impact responses of the morphed HBMs. For each PMHS test, three HBMs were simulated to compare with the test results: the original Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) v4.01 (O-THUMS), a parametric THUMS (P-THUMS), and a subject-specific THUMS (S-THUMS). The P-THUMS geometry was predicted from only age, sex, stature, and BMI using our statistical geometry models of skeleton and body shape, while the S-THUMS geometry was based on each PMHS’s CT data. The simulation results showed a preliminary trend that the correlations between the P-THUMS-predicted impact responses and the four PMHS tests (mean-CORA: 0.84, 0.78, 0.69, 0.70) were better than those between the O-THUMS and the normalized PMHS responses (mean-CORA: 0.74, 0.72, 0.55, 0.63), while they are similar to the correlations between S-THUMS and the PMHS tests (mean-CORA: 0.85, 0.85, 0.67, 0.72). The sensitivity analysis using the P-THUMS showed that, in side impact conditions, the HBM skeleton and body shape geometries as well as the body posture were more important in modeling the occupant impact responses than the bone and soft tissue material properties and the padding stiffness with the given parameter ranges. More investigations are needed to further support these findings.