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Technical Paper

Design, Development and Testing of a Load-Sensing Crash Dummy Face

This project covers one facet of a program to develop a mechanical model for characterizing the time history of local forces on the zygomatic, maxillary and mandible regions of the human face during a frontal collision. Two mechanical devices to measure the forces on crash dummies during testing were designed, constructed and tested. The devices employed cantilever beams equipped with strain gauges. Both devices were subjected to a series of drop tests onto various materials. Time histories were compared to those obtained from cadaver experiments. While the data obtained from this testing appears to be similar to the cadaver data, further improvements and modifications will make the model much more useful.
Technical Paper

Determination and Mechanisms of Motor Vehicle Structural Restitution from Crash Test Data

The coefficient of restitution is an indicator of the elasticity of a collision. Restitution, or elastic rebound of a deformed surface, contributes to the change in velocity of collision partners, a common measure of injury severity in automobile collisions. Because of the complex nature of collisions between motor vehicles, the characterization of the expected magnitude of the coefficient in such collisions lacks detail and mechanisms influencing its value are not well understood. Using crash test data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this study investigates the expected magnitude of the coefficient of restitution and mechanisms influencing restitution in automobile collisions. Both vehicle-to-barrier and vehicle-to-vehicle tests are considered for all types of collisions. The influence of a variety of collision and vehicle parameters on restitution is also explored.
Technical Paper

A Perspective on Automobile Crash Fires

The relatively rare occurrence of injury or fatality in fuel-fed fires has received considerable attention in automotive safety rulemaking and products liability litigation. The literature related to fatalities associated with fire is confirmed by recent FARS data, and there are no reliable field data which confirm a need for further injury-reducing effect related to FMVSS 301. NHTSA has acknowledged this by removing crash fire rulemaking from its priorities plan. The police-reported crash fire data now available must be supplemented with in-depth investigation by trained teams before informed judgements can be made regarding further safety improvements with respect to crash fire injury.
Technical Paper

The VTS Single-Vehicle Trajectory Simulation

A vehicle trajectory simulation called VTS has been developed as an aid for reconstruction of automobile accidents. The two dimensional vehicle has longitudinal, lateral and yaw degrees of freedom, a point mass at the center of gravity) yaw inertia about the center of gravity and four contact points (“tires”) which can be arbitrarily positioned. No collision or aerodynamic forces are modeled. The traction surface is represented as a flat plane with a specified nominal friction coefficient. Several quadrilateral “patches” may be applied to the surface to change the friction coefficient in specific regions. User vehicle control consists of timewise tables for steering angle and traction coefficient for each of the four wheels. When used individually or in conjunction with other computer modules, VTS provides a convenient, accurate modular tool for trajectory simulation.
Technical Paper

A Repeated-Crash Test Technique for Assessment of Structural Impact Behavior

An economical alternative technique is presented for obtaining vehicle frontal crush characteristics from a series of repeated low speed barrier crashes. Results were analyzed using a technique of linear correlation of residual crush depth with a defined crush energy parameter. The data compared closely with crashes reported in the literature, and suggested that the structure exhibits only a slight strain rate sensitivity. Crush energy is shown to correlate well with dynamic crush depth. Relations among dynamic and residual crush and recovery distance are reported, Velocity restitution is shown to be about constant at 15% over the impact velocity range employed. A force-deflection relation based on the offset force linear harmonic oscillator theory is suggested, shown to agree quite well with data. Repeated crash testing can be an effective method to obtain information needed for development of analytical and predictive tools useful in design and reconstruction.
Technical Paper

The Assessment of the Societal Benefit of Side Impact Protection

This paper summarizes work relating to the assessment of societal benefits of side impact protection. National Crash Severity Study (NCSS) and National Accident Sampling System (NASS) accident data technigues were reviewed with respect to the reliability of output information concerning the distribution of side impact accidents by impact severity and relationships between injury and impact severity. NCSS and NASS are confounded by errors and inadequacies, primarily as a result of improper accident reconstruction based upon the CRASH computer program. Based on review of several sample cases, it is believed that the NCSS/NASS files underestimate Lower severities and overestimate higher severities in side impact, with delta-V errors probably overestimated by 25-30 percent in the case of the more serious accidents. These errors cannot be properly quantified except on a case-by-case basis. They introduce unknown biases into NCSS/NASS.
Technical Paper

Application of Kinematic Concepts to Side Impact Injury Analysis

An understanding of fundamental kinematic relationships among the several deforming surfaces of side-impacting bullet and target vehicle, occupant protection system and occupant is fundamental to rational design of crash injury counter-measures. Unfortunately, such understanding is not easy to achieve. Side impacts address the full range of bodily contacts and injuries in a way that challenges analysis. Each bodily area and organ requires individual consideration for adequate injury protection. This paper presents a simplified graphical analysis of occupant kinematics and injury exposure applied specifically to the NHTSA-proposed crabbed moving deformable barrier (MDB) compartment impact, as described in NHTSA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214, issued in January of 1988 [NHTSA 1988 (1)*]. Projections are offered regarding the potential of thoracic injury counter-measures.
Technical Paper

A Perspective on Side Impact Occupant Crash Protection

The NHTSA notices of proposed rulemaking on side impact protection have focused worldwide attention on one of the most difficult and frustrating efforts in automobile crash safety. Traditional vehicle design has evolved obvious structural contrasts between the side of the struck vehicle and the front of the striking vehicle. Protection of near-side occupants from intruding door structure is a most perplexing engineering challenge. Much useful and insightful engineering work has been done in conjunction with NHTSA's proposed rulemaking. However, there are many major engineering issues which demand further definition before reasonable side impact rulemaking test criteria can be finalized. This paper reviews recent findings which characterize the human factors, biomechanics, and occupant position envelope of the typical side impact crash victim.
Technical Paper

Interrelationship of Velocity and Chest Compression in Blunt Thoracic Impact to Swine II

Results of two studies concerning the interrelationship of velocity, compression and injury in blunt thoracic impact to anesthetized swine have been combined to provide a data base of forty-one experiments. impact velocity ranged from ∼8-30 m/s and applied normalized chest compression from ∼0.10-0.30. Experimental subjects were suspended in the spine-horizontal position and loaded midsternally through a 150 mm diameter, flat rigid disk on an impacting mass propelled upward from below. Measurements and computations included sternal and spinal accelerations, intracardiovascular overpressures, physiological responses, injury, as assessed by necropsy, and different forms of the velocity and compression exposure severity parameters. The significance of both compression and velocity as parameters of impact exposure severity is clearly demonstrated. Qualitatively, exacerbation of injury was seen when either variable was increased with the other held constant.
Technical Paper

Interrelationship of Velocity and Chest Compression in Blunt Thoracic Impact to Swine

As part of a continuing study of thoracic injury resulting from blunt frontal loading, the interrelationship of velocity and chest compression was investigated in a series of animal experiments. Anesthetized male swine were suspended in their natural posture and subjected to midsternal, ventrodorsad impact. Twelve animals were struck at a velocity of 14.5 ± 0.9 m/s and experienced a controlled thoracic compression of either 15, 19, or 24%. Six others were impacted at 9.7 ± 1.3 m/s with a greater mean compression of 27%. For the 14.5 m/s exposures the severity of trauma increased with increasing compression, ranging from minor to fatal. Injuries included skeletal fractures, pulmonary contusions, and cardiovascular ruptures leading to tamponade and hemothorax. Serious cardiac arrhythmias also occurred, including one case of lethal ventricular fibrillation. The 9.7 m/s exposures produced mainly pulmonary contusion, ranging in severity from moderate to critical.
Technical Paper

Optimum Restraint Parameters for Bounded Occupant Motion in Decelerating Vehicles

The problem of occupant impact severity reduction by effective use of available space was studied using a two-degree-of-freedom linear mathematical model implemented on a digital computer. An optimum-search method was employed to find the best values of stiffness and damping terms for linear lap and shoulder “belts” corresponding to specific vehicle pulseforms and geometry at speeds 10 to 60 mph. System performance was evaluated on the basis of a severity index comparing occupant deceleration data, and upon penalties imposed for occupant contact with vehicle interior structures. Comparison to biomechanical data indicates that the optimal linear system for 60 mph could produce serious injuries. Comparison to theoretical optimum values indicates considerable room for improvement, using active or nonlinear passive systems.
Technical Paper

An Inexpensive Automobile Crash Recorder

One of the greatest challenges faced in the design of realistic occupant protection systems is an accurate statistical model of what is really needed. The paucity of data is this realm hinders designers of standards alike. Ideally, a model of crash statistics would correlate, for significant accident modes, injury level (as measured by AMA Abreviated Injury Scale “AIS”) with some adequate measure of crash intensity. Having this information, not only could the required level of safety design be ascertained, but also the justifiable economic expenditure could be estimated. This paper treats the statistical basis for deployment of a data retrival system. It provides a basis for estimates of the amount of data required, the number of vehicles to be instrumented, the crash severity trigger levels, and the economics of recorder installation, for various levels of injury and fatality.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact Response of Live Porcine Subjects

Five anesthetized porcine subjects were exposed to blunt thoracic impact using a 21 kg mass with a flat contact surface traveling at 3.0 to 12.2 m/s. The experiments were conducted to assess the appropriateness of studying in vivo mechanical and physiological response to thoracic impact in a porcine animal model. A comprehensive review of comparative anatomy between the pig and man indicates that the cardiovascular, respiratory and thoracic skeletal systems of the pig are anatomically and functionally a good parallel of similar structures in man. Thoracic anthropometry measurements document that the chest of a 50 to 60 kg pig is similar to the 50th percentile adult male human, but is narrower and deeper. Peak applied force and chest deflection are in good agreement between the animal's responses and similar impact severity data on fresh cadavers.
Technical Paper

Postural Influences on Thoracic Impact

The influence of body posture, and inherently support, on thoracic impact response was investigated in an animal model. Anesthetized and postmortem domestic swine were exposed to blunt, midsternal loading while supported in their natural quadrupedal posture, and the results were compared with previously reported data from similar tests involving an upright body orientation. Twelve male animals were tested, six while anesthetized and six postmortem. Each animal was impacted once by a 21 kg rigid mass with a flat contact interface moving at a nominal velocity of either 8 or 10 m/s. Measured mechanical responses included applied load, sternal and spinal accelerations, thoracic compression and aortic overpressure. Injury response was assessed from a thoracico-abdominal necropsy. In addition, ECG traces were recorded pre and postimpact to monitor electro-physiological response.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Porcine Thoracic Responses and Injuries to Various Frontal and A Lateral Impact Site

Classical blunt thoracic impacts have involved midsternal anteroposterior loadings to an upright-positioned subject. Data on the sensitivity of human cadaver and/or animal model biomechanical and injury responses to blunt loadings at different sternal locations is needed to evaluate the efficacy of current injury-potential guidelines for nonsite-specific frontal impacts. In addition, the biomechanics and injury mechanisms associated with lateral impacts constitute a subject of increasing consideration for occupant protection. Twelve anesthetized pigs were subjected to various blunt frontal or a right-side impact to assess biomechanical and injury response differences in a living animal model.
Technical Paper

The Accuracy and Usefulness of SMAC

Computer-aided crash reconstruction has become common-place in the automotive safety profession, primarily because of widespread distribution of software under public auspices. The SMAC (Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions) program, for instance, is available through NHTSA at nominal cost. This paper exhibits some of the limitations and strengths of accident reconstruction simulations, with illustrations and emphasis drawn from the SMAC program. In particular, some coarse physical approximations used and some coding errors incurred in the formulation of SMAC are discussed, together with their respective effects on the accuracy of prediction. Revisions of the basic SMAC coding have been developed at BYU to overcome these shortcomings. Results of uncorrected and revised SMAC simulations are demonstrated by comparison with the physical theory. Comments regarding a new SMAC program just completed under U.S. Government contract are presented where appropriate.
Technical Paper

Comparative Thoracic Impact Response of Living and Sacrificed Porcine Siblings

Thoracic impact response and injuries of living and postmortem porcine siblings were investigated to quantify comparative differences. Thirteen male animals, averaging 61.4 kg, from five different porcine litters comprised the two animal samples. Porcine brothers were subjected to similar impact exposures for which at least one brother was tested live, anesthetized and another dead, post rigor with vascular repressurization. Statistically significant differences in biomechanical responses and injuries were observed between live and postmortem siblings. On the average the anesthetized live animals demonstrated a greater thoracic compliance, as measured by increased normalized total deflections (21% Hi), and reduced overall injuries (AIS 14% Lo and rib fractures 26% Lo) at lower peak force levels (13% Lo) than did the postmortem subjects. However, individual comparisons of “match-tested” siblings demonstrated very similar responses in some cases.
Technical Paper

Estimating Vehicle Deformation Energy for Vehicles Struck in the Side

The reconstruction of accidental impacts to the side structure of one or more accident vehicles often incorporates estimates of the energy absorbed by laterally struck vehicle(s). Such estimates generally involve considerably more issues than does the assessment of frontal or rear impact deformation energy. The sides of vehicles are, compared to the usual striking object, relatively broad, and they contain zones of varying stiffness supported by collapsible box structures. Side stiffnesses can vary widely, depending upon impact geometry. Most side impact crash tests that can readily be used to make estimates of side stiffness have been conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Technical Paper

Injury and Intrusion in Side Impacts and Rollovers

The relationship between occupant crash injury and occupant compartment intrusion is seen in the perspectives of the velocity-time analysis and the NCSS statistical data for two important accident injury modes, lateral and rollover collisions. Restraint system use, interior impacts, and vehicle design features are considered. Side impact intrusion is analyzed from physical principles and further demonstrated by reference to staged collisions and NCSS data. Recent publications regarding findings of the NCSS data for rollovers, as well as the NCSS data itself, are reviewed as a background for kinematic findings regarding occupant injury in rollovers with roof crush.
Technical Paper

Fatal and Severe Injuries in Rear Impact; Seat Stiffness in Recent Field Accident Data

A decade ago, James, published a detailed study of the available NASS data on severe rear impacts, with findings that “… stiffened or rigid seat backs will not substantially mitigate severe and fatal injuries in rear impacts.” No field accident study has since been advanced which refutes this finding. Advocates of rigidized seat backs often point to specific cases of severe rear impacts in which MAIS 4+ injuries are associated with seat back deformation, coupled with arguments supporting stiffer seatback designs. These arguments are generally based upon laboratory experiments with dummies in normal seating positions. Recent field accident data shows that generally, in collisions where the majority of societal harm is created, yielding seats continue to provide benefits, including those associated with whiplash associated disorders (WAD).