1998-11-02

Analytical Investigation of Driver Thoracic Response to Out of Position Airbag Deployment 983165

A finite element model of the human thorax was merged with a rigid body finite element implementation of the Hybrid III dummy (after removal of the Hybrid III thorax) and the combined model is used in simulations of an out of position driver during airbag deployment. Parameters related to injury, such as A-P thorax deformation, Viscous Criterion, rib stress distribution and strain in the thoracic contents are used to quantify the thoracic injury response. Initial driver position is varied to examine the relationship between distance from the airbag module and thoracic injury risk. The potential for injury mitigation through modulation of airbag inflation after initiation is also investigated. The utility of the combined model as an effective tool for the analysis of occupant kinematics and dynamics, examination of injury mechanisms, and optimization of restraint system design parameters is demonstrated.

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