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Technical Paper

Assessment of a Three-Point Restraint System with a Pre-tensioned Lap Belt and an Inflatable, Force-Limited Shoulder Belt

2011-11-07
2011-22-0007
This study investigates the performance of a 3-point restraint system incorporating an inflatable shoulder belt with a nominal 2.5-kN load limiter and a non-inflatable lap belt with a pretensioner (the “Airbelt”). Frontal impacts with PMHS in a rear seat environment are presented and the Airbelt system is contrasted with an earlier 3-point system with inflatable lap and shoulder belts but no load-limiter or pretensioners, which was evaluated with human volunteers in the 1970s but not fully reported in the open literature (the “Inflataband”). Key differences between the systems include downward pelvic motion and torso recline with the Inflataband, while the pelvis moved almost horizontally and the torso pitched forward with the Airbelt. One result of these kinematic differences was an overall more biomechanically favorable restraint loading but greater maximum forward head excursion with the Airbelt.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

2009-11-02
2009-22-0002
Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: Kinematics and Injury of PMHS Restrained by a Standard 3-Point Belt in Frontal Crashes

2008-11-03
2008-22-0012
Very little experimental research has focused on the kinematics, dynamics, and injuries of rear-seated occupants. This study seeks to develop a baseline response for rear-seated post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) in frontal crashes. Three PMHS sled tests were performed in a sled buck designed to represent the interior rear-seat compartment of a contemporary midsized sedan. All occupants were positioned in the right-rear passenger seat and subjected to simulated frontal crashes with an impact speed of 48 km/h. The subjects were restrained by a standard, rear seat, 3-point seat belt. The response of each subject was evaluated in terms of whole-body kinematics, dynamics, and injury. All the PMHS experienced excessive forward translation of the pelvis resulting in a backward rotation of the torso at the time of maximum forward excursion.
Technical Paper

Whole-body Kinematic and Dynamic Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

2006-11-06
2006-22-0013
The literature contains a wide range of response data describing the biomechanics of isolated body regions. Current data for the validation of frontal anthropomorphic test devices and human body computational models lack, however, a detailed description of the whole-body response to loading with contemporary restraints in automobile crashes.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Response of Belted PMHS, the Hybrid III, and the THOR-NT Mid-Sized Male Surrogates in Low-Speed, Frontal Crashes

2006-11-06
2006-22-0009
Injury to the thorax is the predominant cause of fatalities in crash-involved automobile occupants over the age of 65, and many elderly-occupant automobile fatalities occur in crashes below compliance or consumer information test speeds. As the average age of the automotive population increases, thoracic injury prevention in lower severity crashes will play an increasingly important role in automobile safety. This study presents the results of a series of sled tests to investigate the thoracic deformation, kinematic, and injury responses of belted post-mortem human surrogates (PMHS, average age 44 years) and frontal anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) in low-speed frontal crashes. Nine 29 km/h (three PMHS, three Hybrid III 50th% male ATD, three THOR-NT ATD) and three 38 km/h (one PMHS, two Hybrid III) frontal sled tests were performed to simulate an occupant seated in the right front passenger seat of a mid-sized sedan restrained with a standard (not force-limited) 3-point seatbelt.
Technical Paper

Structural and Material Changes in the Aging Thorax and Their Role in Crash Protection for Older Occupants

2005-11-09
2005-22-0011
The human body undergoes a variety of changes as it ages through adulthood. These include both morphological (structural) changes (e.g., increased thoracic kyphosis) and material changes (e.g., osteoporosis). The purpose of this study is to evaluate structural changes that occur in the aging bony thorax and to assess the importance of these changes relative to the well-established material changes. The study involved two primary components. First, full-thorax computed tomography (CT) scans of 161 patients, age 18 to 89 years, were analyzed to quantify the angle of the ribs in the sagittal plane. A significant association between the angle of the ribs and age was identified, with the ribs becoming more perpendicular to the spine as age increased (0.08 degrees/year, p=0.012). Next, a finite element model of the thorax was used to evaluate the importance of this rib angle change relative to other factors associated with aging.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Finite Element Model of a Vehicle Occupant

2004-03-08
2004-01-0325
A finite element human model has been developed to simulate occupant behavior and to estimate injuries in real-world car crashes. The model represents an average adult male of the US population in a driving posture. Physical geometry, mechanical characteristics and joint structures were replicated as precise as possible. The total number of nodes and materials is around 67,000 and 1,000 respectively. Each part of the model was not only validated against human test data in the literature but also for realistic loading conditions. Additional tests were newly conducted to reproduce realistic loading to human subjects. A data set obtained in human volunteer tests was used for validating the neck part. The head-neck kinematics and responses in low-speed rear impacts were compared between the measured and calculated results. The validity of the lower extremity part was examined by comparing the tibia force in a foot impact between the test data and simulation results.
Technical Paper

Sled System Requirements for the Analysis of Side Impact Thoracic Injury Criteria and Occupant Protection

2001-03-05
2001-01-0721
This paper discusses struck-side occupant thoracic response to side-impact loading and the requirements of a sled system capable of reproducing the relevant motions of a laterally impacted vehicle. A simplified viscoelastic representation of a thorax is used to evaluate the effect of the door velocity-time profile on injury criteria and on the internal stress state of the thorax. Simulations using a prescribed door velocity-time profile (punch impact) are contrasted against simulations using a constant-velocity impact (Heidelberg-type impact). It is found that the stress distribution and magnitude within the thorax, in addition to the maximum thorax compression and viscous response, depend not only on the door-occupant closing velocity, but also on the shape of the door velocity-time profile throughout the time of contact with the occupant. A sled system capable of properly reproducing side-impact door and seat motion is described.
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