Development of an Improved Multi-Directional Neck Prototype 912918
A prototype multi-directional neck (MDN) which exhibits improved kinematic biofidelity in both frontal and lateral impacts has been developed. This prototype's primary goal was to reproduce the kinematics illustrated by volunteers in the Naval Biodynamics Laboratory tests, because current dummy necks were developed before these results were acquired. The prototype achieves this motion with ball-and-socket joints at the head and thorax connecting a rigid link. Rubber bumpers control the neck linkage's range of motion at the joints. Two posterior springs connecting the head and thorax improve head position throughout the impact. Anatomically, the joints correspond to the occipital condyle (OC) and T1 vertebra. The torques measured at the MDN joints approximated the observed human joint response. The MDN can be adapted for use on the Hybrid III dummy and the Advanced Dummy, and incorporates angular motion sensors (AMS) to measure the kinematic performance. MADYMO models were used to determine design parameters. The prototype's behavior was evaluated in pendulum and sled tests. The head and neck kinematics of the multi-directional neck, the Hybrid III neck, and volunteers are compared to show the prototype's improved frontal and lateral kinematic responses.