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Technical Paper

An Analytical Study on Headform Impact Protection Space for a Rigid Target

This paper examines the theoretical worst case of normal headform impact on an infinitely rigid surface with the help of a dynamic spring-mass model. It is pointed out that the current approach is not an actual representation of any vehicle upper interior but is useful in gaining insight into the headform impact phenomenon and determining how to further enhance design. After considering force-deflection characteristics of a variety of commonly used headform impact protection countermeasures, a mathematical model is set up with spring properties that approximate those of physical countermeasures. Closed-form solutions are derived for various dynamic elasto-plastic phases including elastic unloading and contact. A parametric study is then carried out with HIC(d) as the dependent variable, and spring stiffness, yield force and spring length (representing countermeasure crush space) as the design variables.