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Technical Paper

Study of Rib Fracture Mechanisms Based on the Rib Strain Profiles in Side and Forward Oblique Impact

Rib fractures constitute a good indication of severity as there are the most frequent type of AIS3+ chest injuries. In 2008, Trosseille et al. showed a promising methodology to exhibit the rib fracture mechanisms, using strain gauges glued on the ribs of Post-Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) and developing a specific signal analysis. In 2009, they published the results of static airbag tests performed on 50th percentile male PMHS at different distances and angles (pure lateral and 30 degrees forward oblique direction). To complete these already published data, a set of 8 PMHS lateral and oblique impactor tests were performed with the same methodology. The rib cages were instrumented with more than 100 strain gauges on the ribs, cartilage and sternum. A 23.4 kg impactor was propelled at 4.3 or 6.7 m/s. The forces applied onto the PMHS at 4.3 m/s ranged from 1.6 kN to 1.9 kN and the injuries varied from 4 to 13 rib fractures.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of the WorldSID 50th and ES-2re Thoraces to Loading Configuration

An ideal injury criterion should be predictive of the risk of injury across the range of loading conditions where it may be applied. The injury risk curve associated with this criterion should be applicable to all loading conditions. With respect to side impact, the injury risk curve should apply to pure lateral or oblique loading by rigid and padded walls, as well as airbags. Trosseille et al., (2009) reported that the number of fractured ribs was higher in pure lateral impact than in forward oblique interaction with an airbag. A good dummy criterion should be able to account for this difference. To evaluate various injury criteria with the WorldSID 50th and ES-2re dummies, the dummies were exposed to the same airbag loadings as the PMHS. The criteria measured in the dummy tests were paired with the rib fractures from the PMHS tests.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Angle on the Chest Injury Outcome in Side Loading

Thoracic injury criteria and injury risk curves in side impact are based on impactor or sled tests, with rigid or padded surfaces while airbags are very common on current cars. Besides, the loading is generally pure lateral while real crashes or regulations can generate oblique loadings. Oblique tests were found in the literature, but no conclusion was drawn with regard to the effect of the direction on the injury outcome. In order to address these two limitations, a series of 17 side airbag tests were performed on Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) at different severities and angles. The subjects were instrumented with accelerometers on the spine and strain gauges on the ribs. They were loaded by an unfolded airbag at different distances in pure lateral or 30 degrees forward. The airbag forces ranged from 1680 N to 6300 N, the injuries being up to 9 separated fractured ribs. This paper provides the test results in terms of physical parameters and injury outcome of the 17 subjects.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Thoracic Deflection as an Injury Criterion for Side Impact Using a Finite Elements Thorax Model

This study aims to investigate the relationship between the number of rib fractures and the thoracic deflection in side impact, and in particular its variability with respect to various loading configurations. The relevance of thoracic deflection as an injury criterion depends on the existence or not of this variability. Few studies were dedicated to this issue in the literature. First, a validation database was established, which covers different impact directions (frontal, lateral and oblique), different loading types (impactor, belt and airbag), and different injury levels (from the absence of, to presence of numerous ribs fractured). The HUMOS human body model was then modified and validated versus the database. Besides the typical validation in terms of global response, particular attention was paid to validate the model with respect to the ribcage strain profile, the occurrence of rib fractures and their locations.
Technical Paper

Rib Cage Strain Pattern as a Function of Chest Loading Configuration

Rib fractures are the most frequent types of AIS3+ chest injuries and constitute a good indication of severity. However, the behavior of the rib cage is not well documented, and though chest external measurements are often provided in the literature, the strains of the ribs themselves during a crash remain unknown. In order to address this issue, a test protocol was developed, where the ribs of 8 PMHS were equipped with up to 96 strain gauges. In a first series of 3 tests, the subjects were seated upright and their chests were loaded by a 23.4 kg impactor propelled at 4.3 m/s in 0° (pure frontal), 60° (oblique) and 90° (pure lateral) directions. In a second series of 3 tests, the subjects were loaded by the deployment of an unfolded airbag in the same 3 directions. Finally, a third series of 2 tests was performed with airbags at different distances from the subjects, in a pure lateral direction. This paper presents the results of the tests and an analysis of the strain patterns.
Technical Paper

Dual Depth Passenger Air Bag

A dual depth passenger air bag technology has been developed which provides two different deployed cushion shapes coupled with two inflation levels, but only uses two initiators, one for a single level inflator and one for a dual depth mechanism. The developed dual depth air bag module design utilizes a seat position switch to help determine deployed output. The module deploys a shallow cushion depth for occupants in the forward portion of seat track travel and a deep cushion depth for occupants in the rearward portion of seat track travel. The mechanism controls the release of an air bag cushion tether and also enables the inflator to vent a portion of gas through the module housing. This paper summarizes the development effort including initial sled and out-of-position testing. The final design was found to be a useful tool when balancing in-position restraint performance between otherwise competing in-position test conditions.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Simulation Study of a Frontal Driver Airbag Deployment for Out-Of-Position Situations

As more and more active restraint devices are added by vehicle manufacturers for occupant protection, the history of driver frontal airbags illustrates that the design performance of such devices for in-position (IP) occupants often have to be limited in order to reduce their aggressiveness for out-of-position (OOP) situations. As of today, a limited number of publications dealing with FE simulation of airbag deployment for OOP are available. The objective of our study was to evaluate the feasibility of airbag deployment simulations based on an extensive set of well-defined physical test matrix. A driver frontal airbag was chosen (European mid-size car sample) for this study. It was deployed against a force plate (14 tests in a total of 6 configurations), and used with Hybrid III 50th percentile dummy (HIII) in OOP tests (6 tests, 4 configurations). Special attention was paid to control the boundary conditions used in experiments in order to improve the modelling process.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Different Countermeasures and Packaging Limits for the FMVSS201U

Different countermeasure designs for reducing the HIC (d) and to comply with FMVSS201U have been evaluated in many component-level studies by suppliers and OEMs. This study presents guidelines to support future countermeasure and interior designs. FMVSS201U has changed the way OEMs design interiors of the vehicles today. Most recently, much more work is being done to find ways to design interiors of the vehicles that comply with FMVSS201U while keeping the interiors aesthetically pleasing, attaining driver comfort and meeting driver visibility requirements. Introduction of side-rail airbags has further affected countermeasure design and packaging. This study focuses on several countermeasure designs in the side-rail region as used in a mid-sized vehicle implemented to meet FMVSS201U requirements and their efficiency with respect to Head Injury Criterion (HIC) reduction given a fixed packaging space.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Thoracic Injury Risk in Frontal Car Crashes for Occupant Restrained without Belt Load Limiters and Those Restrained with 6 kN and 4 kN Belt Load Limiters

In France, as in other countries, accident research studies show that a large proportion of restrained occupants who sustain severe or fatal injuries are involved in frontal impacts (65% and 50%, respectively). In severe frontal impacts with restrained occupants and where intrusion is not preponderant, the oldest occupants very often sustain severe thoracic injuries due to the conventional seat belt. As we have been observing over the last years, we will expect in the coming years developments which include more solidly-built cars, as offset crash test procedures are widely used to evaluate the passive safety of production vehicles. The reduction of intrusion for the most severe frontal impacts, through optimization of car deformation, usually translates into an increase in restraint forces and hence thoracic injury risk with a conventional retractor seat belt for a given impact severity.
Technical Paper

Comparative Studies of Dummy and Human Body Models Behavior in Frontal and Lateral Impact Conditions

In the past, many studies have been dedicated to the comparison of dummies and human body behavior in different impact conditions. However, the complex boundary conditions generated by a complete restraint system render it difficult to compare both human surrogates in a car environment. Furthermore, the great dispersion among car occupants is an additional difficulty which is difficult to overcome with experimental studies, Computer simulation, as far as a validated human body model is available, gives a unique possibility to assess the influence of some restraint parameters, whilst all remaining parameters are unchanged. To this end, a 3D finite element human body model validated in many different impact configurations against a large number of biomechanical corridors was used. In order to compare responses, models of Hybrid III and Eurosid 1 dummies were also used.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Injury Risk in Frontal Car Crashes with Occupant Restrained with Belt Load Limiter

In France, as in other countries, accident research studies show that the greatest proportion of restrained occupants sustaining severe injuries and fatalities are involved in frontal impact (70% and 50% respectively). In severe frontal impacts with restraint occupants and where intrusion is not preponderant, the oldest occupants very often sustain severe thoracic injuries due to the seat belt. In the seventies, a few cars were equipped in France with load limiters and it was thereby possible to observe a relationship between the force applied and the occupant's age with regard to this thoracic risk. The reduction of intrusion for the most violent frontal impacts, through optimization of car deformation, usually translates into an increase in restraint forces and hence thoracic risks with a conventional retractor seat belt for a given impact violence.