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Technical Paper

Thoracic Response to Shoulder Belt Loading: Investigation of Chest Stiffness and Longitudinal Strain Pattern of Ribs

Two post-mortem human subjects were subjected to dynamic, non-injurious (up to 20% chest deflection) anterior shoulder belt loading at 0.5 m/s and 0.9 m/s loading rates. The human surrogates were mounted to a stationary apparatus that supported the spine and shoulder in a configuration comparable to that achieved in a 48 km/h sled test at the time of maximum chest deformation. A hydraulically driven shoulder belt was used to load the anterior thorax which was instrumented with a load cell for measuring reaction force and uniaxial strain gages at the 4th and 8th ribs. In addition, the deformation of the chest was measured using a 16- camera Vicon 3D motion capture system. In order to investigate the chest deformation pattern and ribcage loading in greater detail, a human finite element (FE) model of the thorax was used to simulate the tests.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Finite Element Model for the Polar-II Upper Body

The goal of this study was to develop and validate a finite element (FE) model of the Polar-II pedestrian dummy. An upper body model consisting of the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, and abdomen was coupled with a previously validated model of the lower limb The viscoelastic material properties of the dummy components were determined from dynamic compression tests of shoulder urethane, shoulder rubber and abdominal foam. For validation of the entire upper body, the model was compared with NHTSA response requirements for their advanced frontal dummy (Thor) including head and neck pendulum tests as well as ribcage and abdominal impact tests. In addition, the Polar-II full body FE model was subjected to simulated vehicle-pedestrian impacts that recreated published experiments. Simulated head and pelvis accelerations as well as upper body trajectories reasonably reproduced the experiment.
Technical Paper

Characterization of the Rate-Dependent Mechanical Properties and Failure of Human Knee Ligaments

The structural properties of the four major human knee ligaments were investigated at different loading rates. Bone-ligament-bone specimens of the medial and lateral collateral ligaments and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, obtained from post-mortem human donors, were tested in knee distraction loading in displacement control. All ligaments were tested in the anatomical position corresponding to a fully extended knee. The rate dependence of the structural response of the knee ligaments was investigated by applying loading-unloading cycles at a range of distraction rates. Ramps to failure were applied at knee distraction rates of 0.016 mm/s, 1.6 mm/s, or 1,600 mm/s. Averages and corridors were constructed for the force response and the failure point of the different ligaments and loading rates. The structural response of the knee ligaments was found to depend on the deformation rate, being both stiffer and more linear at high loading rates.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Axial Preload and Dorsiflexion on the Tolerance of the Ankle/Subtalar Joint to Dynamic Inversion and Eversion

Forced inversion or eversion of the foot is considered a common mechanism of ankle injury in vehicle crashes. The objective of this study was to model empirically the injury tolerance of the human ankle/subtalar joint to dynamic inversion and eversion under three different loading conditions: neutral flexion with no axial preload, neutral flexion with 2 kN axial preload, and 30° of dorsiflexion with 2 kN axial preload. 44 tests were conducted on cadaveric lower limbs, with injury occurring in 30 specimens. Common injuries included malleolar fractures, osteochondral fractures of the talus, fractures of the lateral process of the talus, and collateral ligament tears, depending on the loading configuration. The time of injury was determined either by the peak ankle moment or by a sudden drop in ankle moment that was accompanied by a burst of acoustic emission. Characteristic moment-angle curves to injury were generated for each loading configuration.