1998-02-23

Analysis of Humerus Orientation in Upper Extremity Experiments with a Deploying Airbag 980639

Computer simulations and experimental tests were used to examine the effect of humerus orientation on upper extremity interaction with a deploying airbag. The Articulated Total Body program was used to simulate testing of three upper extremity positions ranging from 0° to 90° abduction. Results indicated little difference in peak forearm bending moment for the three positions, a finding which was confirmed with experimental tests of airbag deployment into an SAE 5th % female dummy arm in the 0= and 90= positions. A comparison of simulation and dummy testing with experiments run using cadavers resulted in the conclusion that forearm position, not humerus orientation, plays a critical role in determining upper extremity injury during airbag deployment. Thus, both 0= and 90= abduction tests were found to be valid methods for studying arm/airbag interaction while preserving the rest of the cadaver for future testing.

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