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Technical Paper

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Architecture Selection for EcoCAR 3 Competition

This paper presents the work performed by the Wayne State University (WSU) EcoCAR 3 student design competition team in its preparation for the hybrid electric vehicle architecture selection process. This process is recognized as one of the most pivotal steps in the EcoCAR 3 competition. With a key lesson learned from participation in EcoCAR 2 on “truly learning how to learn,” the team held additional training sessions on architecture selection tools and exercises with the goal of improving both fundamental and procedural skills. The work conducted represents a combination of the architecture feasibility study and final selection process in terms of content and procedure, respectively. At the end of this study the team was able to identify four potentially viable hybrid powertrain architectures, and thoroughly analyze the performance and packaging feasibility of various component options.
Journal Article

Self-Regulation Minimizes Crash Risk from Attentional Effects of Cognitive Load during Auditory-Vocal Tasks

This study reanalyzes the data from a recent experimental report from the University of Utah investigating the effect on driving performance of auditory-vocal secondary tasks (such as cell phone and passenger conversations, speech-to-text, and a complex artificial cognitive task). The current objective is to estimate the relative risk of crashes associated with such auditory-vocal tasks. Contrary to the Utah study's assumption of an increase in crash risk from the attentional effects of cognitive load, a deeper analysis of the Utah data shows that driver self-regulation provides an effective countermeasure that offsets possible increases in crash risk. For example, drivers self-regulated their following distances to compensate for the slight increases in brake response time while performing auditory-vocal tasks. This new finding is supported by naturalistic driving data showing that cell phone conversation does not increase crash risk above that of normal baseline driving.
Journal Article

An Unbiased Estimate of the Relative Crash Risk of Cell Phone Conversation while Driving an Automobile

A key aim of research into cell phone tasks is to obtain an unbiased estimate of their relative risk (RR) for crashes. This paper re-examines five RR estimates of cell phone conversation in automobiles. The Toronto and Australian studies estimated an RR near 4, but used subjective estimates of driving and crash times. The OnStar, 100-Car, and a recent naturalistic study used objective measures of driving and crash times and estimated an RR near 1, not 4 - a major discrepancy. Analysis of data from GPS trip studies shows that people were in the car only 20% of the time on any given prior day at the same clock time they were in the car on a later day. Hence, the Toronto estimate of driving time during control windows must be reduced from 10 to 2 min.
Technical Paper

Experimental Validation of Pediatric Thorax Finite Element Model under Dynamic Loading Condition and Analysis of Injury

Previously, a 10-year-old (YO) pediatric thorax finite element model (FEM) was developed and verified against child chest stiffness data measured from clinical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). However, the CPR experiments were performed at relatively low speeds, with a maximum loading rate of 250 mm/s. Studies showed that the biomechanical responses of human thorax exhibited rate sensitive characteristics. As such, the studies of dynamic responses of the pediatric thorax FEM are needed. Experimental pediatric cadaver data in frontal pendulum impacts and diagonal belt dynamic loading tests were used for dynamic validation. Thoracic force-deflection curves between test and simulation were compared. Strains predicted by the FEM and the injuries observed in the cadaver tests were also compared for injury assessment and analysis. This study helped to further improve the 10 YO pediatric thorax FEM.
Technical Paper

Aortic Mechanics in High-Speed Racing Crashes

Auto racing has been in vogue from the time automobiles were first built. With the dawn of modern cars came higher engine capacities; the speeds involved in these races and crashes increased as well. However, the advent of passive restraint systems such as the helmet, HANS (Head and Neck Support device), multi-point harness system, roll cage, side and frontal crush zones, racing seats, fire retardant suits, and soft-wall technology, have greatly improved the survivability of the drivers in high-speed racing crashes. Three left lateral crashes from Begeman and Melvin (2002), Case #LAS12, #IND14 and #99TX were used as inputs to the Wayne State Human Body Model (WSHBM) in a simulated racing buck. Twelve simulations with delta-v, six-point harness and shoulder pad as design variables were analyzed for the average maximum principal strain (AMPS) in the aorta. The average AMPS for the high-speed crashes were 0.1551±0.0172 while the average maximum pressure was 110.50±4.25 kPa.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Injury Criteria for the Prediction of Commotio Cordis from Lacrosse Ball Impacts

Commotio Cordis (CC) is the second leading cause of mortality in youth sports. Impacts occurring directly over the left ventricle (LV) during a vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle can cause ventricular fibrillation (VF), which results in CC. In order to better understand the pathophysiology of CC, and develop a mechanical model for CC, appropriate injury criteria need to be developed. This effort consisted of impacts to seventeen juvenile porcine specimens (mass 21-45 kg). Impacts were delivered over the cardiac silhouette during the venerable period of the cardiac cycle. Four impact speeds were used: 13.4, 17.9, 22.4, and 26.8 m/s. The impactor was a lacrosse ball on an aluminum shaft instrumented with an accelerometer (mass 188 g - 215 g). The impacts were recorded using high-speed video. LV pressure was measured with a catheter. Univariate binary logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the predictive ability of ten injury criteria.
Technical Paper

Injury Predictors for Traumatic Axonal Injury in a Rodent Head Impact Acceleration Model

A modified Marmarou impact acceleration injury model was developed to study the kinematics of the rat head to quantify traumatic axonal injury (TAI) in the corpus callosum (CC) and brainstem pyramidal tract (Py), to determine injury predictors and to establish injury thresholds for severe TAI. Thirty-one anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats (392 ± 13 grams) were impacted using a modified impact acceleration injury device from 2.25 m and 1.25 m heights. Beta-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP) immunocytochemistry was used to assess and quantify axonal changes in CC and Py. Over 600 injury maps in CC and Py were constructed in the 31 impacted rats. TAI distribution along the rostro-caudal direction in CC and Py was determined. Linear and angular responses of the rat head were monitored and measured in vivo with an attached accelerometer and angular rate sensor, and were correlated to TAI data.
Technical Paper

A Practical Time-Domain Approach to Controller Design and Calibration for Applications in Automotive Industry

This paper summarizes a systematic approach to control of nonlinear automotive systems exposed to fast transients. This approach is based on a combined application of hardware characterization, which inverts nonlinearities, and conventional Proportional-plus-Integral-plus-Derivative (PID) control. The approach renders the closed-loop system dynamics more transparent and simplifies the controller design and calibration for applications in automotive industry. The authors have found this approach effective in presenting and teaching PID controller design and calibration guidelines to automotive engineering audience, who at times may not have formal training in controls but need to understand the development and calibration process of simple controllers.
Technical Paper

Development of an FE Model of the Rat Head Subjected to Air Shock Loading

As early as the 1950's, Gurdjian and colleagues (Gurdjian et al., 1955) observed that brain injuries could occur by direct pressure loading without any global head accelerations. This pressure-induced injury mechanism was "forgotten" for some time and is being rekindled due to the many mild traumatic brain injuries attributed to blast overpressure. The aim of the current study was to develop a finite element (FE) model to predict the biomechanical response of rat brain under a shock tube environment. The rat head model, including more than 530,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns was developed based on a previous rat brain model for simulating a blunt controlled cortical impact. An FE model, which represents gas flow in a 0.305-m diameter shock tube, was formulated to provide input (incident) blast overpressures to the rat model. It used an Eulerian approach and the predicted pressures were verified with experimental data.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of the Bovine Pia-Arachnoid Complex to Tensile Loading at Varying Strain Rates

The pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) covering the brain plays an important role in the mechanical response of the brain due to impact or inertial loading. However, the mechanical properties of the pia-arachnoid complex and its influence on the overall response of the brain have not been well characterized. Consequently, finite element (FE) brain models have tended to oversimplify the response of the pia-arachnoid complex, possibly resulting in a loss of accuracy in the model predictions. The aim of this study was to determine, experimentally, the material properties of the pia-arachnoid complex under quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Specimens of the pia-arachnoid complex were obtained from the parietal and temporal regions of freshly slaughtered bovine subjects with the specimen orientation recorded. Single-stroke, uniaxial quasi-static and dynamic tensile experiments were performed at strain-rates of 0.05, 0.5, 5 and 100 s-1 (n = 10 for each strain rate group).
Technical Paper

A New Model of Traumatic Axonal Injury to Determine the Effects of Strain and Displacement Rates

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) continues to be a major health problem, with over 500,000 cases per year with a societal cost of approximately $85 billion in the US. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of such injuries. In many cases of TBI widespread disruption of the axons occurs through a process known as diffuse axonal injury (DAI) or traumatic axonal injury (TAI). In the current study, an in vivo TAI model was developed using spinal nerve roots of adult rats. This model was used to determine functional and structural responses of axons to various strains and displacement rates. Fifty-six L5 dorsal nerve roots were each subjected to a predetermined strain range (<10%, 10-20% and >20%) at a specified displacement rate (0.01 mm/sec and 15 mm/sec) only once. Image analysis was used to determine actual strains on the roots during the pull.
Technical Paper

Application of a Finite Element Model of the Brain to Study Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms in the Rat

Complete validation of any finite element (FE) model of the human brain is very difficult due to the lack of adequate experimental data. However, more animal brain injury data, especially rat data, obtained under well-defined mechanical loading conditions, are available to advance the understanding of the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, internal response of the brain in these experimental studies could not be measured. The aim of this study was to develop a detailed FE model of the rat brain for the prediction of intracranial responses due to different impact scenarios. Model results were used to elucidate possible brain injury mechanisms. An FE model, consisting of more than 250,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns, was developed to represent the brain of a rat. The model was first validated locally against peak brain deformation data obtained from nine unique dynamic cortical deformation (vacuum) tests.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Surrogate Blood Vessels on the Impact Response of a Physical Model of the Brain

Cerebral blood vessels are an integral part of the brain and may play a role in the response of the brain to impact. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of surrogate vessels on the deformation patterns of a physical model of the brain under various impact conditions. Silicone gel and tubing were used as surrogates for brain tissue and blood vessels, respectively. Two aluminum cylinders representing a coronal section of the brain were constructed. One cylinder was filled with silicone gel only, and the other was filled with silicone gel and silicone tubing arranged in the radial direction in the peripheral region. An array of markers was embedded in the gel in both cylinders to facilitate strain calculation via high-speed video analysis. Both cylinders were simultaneously subjected to a combination of linear and angular acceleration using a two-segment pendulum.
Technical Paper

A tibial mid-shaft injury mechanism in frontal automotive crashes

Lower extremity injuries in frontal automotive crashes usually occur with footwell intrusion where both the knee and foot are constrained. In order to identify factors associated with tibial shaft injury, a series of numerical simulations were conducted using a finite element model of the whole human body. These simulations demonstrated that tibial mid-shaft injuries in frontal crashes could be caused by an abrupt change in velocity and a high rate of footwell intrusion.
Technical Paper

Kinematics of Human Cadaver Cervical Spine During Low Speed Rear-End Impacts

The purposes of this study were to measure the relative linear and angular displacements of each pair of adjacent cervical vertebrae and to compute changes in distance between two adjacent facet joint landmarks during low posterior- anterior (+Gx) acceleration without significant hyperextension of the head. A total of twenty-six low speed rear-end impacts were conducted using six postmortem human specimens. Each cadaver was instrumented with two to three neck targets embedded in each cervical vertebra and nine accelerometers on the head. Sequential x-ray images were collected and analyzed. Two seatback orientations were studied. In the global coordinate system, the head, the cervical vertebrae, and the first or second thoracic vertebra (T1 or T2) were in extension during rear-end impacts. The head showed less extension in comparison with the cervical spine.
Technical Paper

Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Shoulder

Previous studies have hypothesized that the shoulder may be used to absorb some impact energy and reduce chest injury due to side impacts. Before this hypothesis can be tested, a good understanding of the injury mechanisms and the kinematics of the shoulder is critical for occupant protection in side impact. However, existing crash dummies and numerical models are not designed to reproduce the kinematics and kinetics of the human shoulder. The purpose of this study was to develop a finite element model of the human shoulder in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the injury mechanisms and the kinematics of the shoulder in side impact. Basic anthropometric data of the human shoulder used to develop the skeletal and muscular portions of this model were taken from commercial data packages. The shoulder model included three bones (the humerus, scapula and clavicle) and major ligaments and muscles around the shoulder.
Technical Paper

A Momentum and Energy Approach to Modeling Crash Behavior, Quantifying Crash Severity, and Identifying Crash Configurations

This paper focuses on the role and significance of linear momentum and kinetic energy in controlling air bags aboard vehicles. Among the results of the study are analytic and geometric models that characterize crash behavior and control algorithms that quantify crash severity and identify crash configurations. These results constitute an effective basis for crash-data design and air-bag control.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Simulation of Ankle/Foot Injury in Frontal Crashes

Finite element models of human body segments have been developed in recent years. Numerical simulation could be helpful when understanding injury mechanisms and to make injury assessments. In the lower leg injury research in NISSAN, a finite element model of the human ankle/foot is under development. The mesh for the bony part was taken from the original model developed by Beaugonin et al., but was revised by adding soft tissue to reproduce realistic responses. Damping effect in a high speed contact was taken into account by modeling skin and fat in the sole of the foot. The plantar aponeurosis tendon was modeled by nonlinear bar elements connecting the phalanges to the calcaneus. The rigid body connection, which was defined at the toe in the original model for simplicity, was removed and the transverse ligaments were added instead in order to bind the metatarsals and the phalanges. These tendons and ligaments were expected to reproduce a realistic response in compression.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Injury Mechanisms and Biomechanical Responses in Lateral Velocity Pulse Impacts

The purpose of this study is to help understand the thoracic response and injury mechanisms in high-energy, limited-stroke, lateral velocity pulse impacts to the human chest wall. To impart such impacts, a linear impactor was developed which had a limited stroke and minimally decreased velocity during impact. The peak impact velocity was 5.6 ± 0.3 m/s. A series of BioSID and cadaver tests were conducted to measure biomechanical response and injury data. The conflicting effects of padding on increased deflection and decreased acceleration were demonstrated in tests with BioSID and cadavers. The results of tests conducted on six cadavers were used to test several proposed injury criteria for side impact. Linear regression was used to correlate each injury criterion to the number of rib fractures. This test methodology captured and supported a contrasting trend of increased chest deflection and decreased TTI when padding was introduced.
Technical Paper

Bending Strength of the Human Cadaveric Forearm Due to Lateral Loads

Ten pairs of thawed fresh-frozen human cadaveric lower arm specimens were subjected to lateral three-point bending. Either the radius or ulna were impacted with a 4.5 kg dropped weight at approximately 3 m/s or tested quasi-statically in a materials testing machine. Fracture occurred primarily near the loading site with an average dynamic peak load of 1370 N and average peak moment of 89 Nm. Differences between the radius and ulna were not significant. Static fracture load and moments were approximately 20% lower. Sectional and mineral properties of each specimen near the fracture sites were measured.