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.