1999-10-10

A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Model of the Human Arm 99SC25

This work describes the development of a three-dimensional finite element model of the human arm. Mechanical properties of the arm were determined experimentally for use in the model development. The arm model is capable of predicting kinematics and potential injury when interacting with a deploying airbag. The arm model can be easily integrated with available finite element and rigid body dummy models.
This model includes the primary components of a human arm. It includes all the bones of hand, ulna, radius and humerus. Anthropometry, moment of inertia, joint torque and tissue compressive properties were determined experimentally from human cadaveric subjects. To calibrate the model, both free-swinging motion and pendulum impact tests were used. The global responses of the pendulum force, pendulum velocity and the angle of rotation time histories of the arm were obtained and compared reasonably well with the experimental data. The arm model performance was also evaluated for the out-of-position occupant interacting with a side airbag. The correlation between the model and the cadaveric test data was reasonably good.
This model can be useful in predicting kinematics and injuries to the arm from airbag deployment interaction. This type of model is the first step in the process leading towards the design and development of safe side airbags.

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