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Technical Paper

A Simulation-Based Calibration and Sensitivity Analysis of a Finite Element Model of THOR Head-Neck Complex

2011-04-12
2011-01-1123
The THOR-NT dummy has been developed and continuously improved by NHTSA to provide automotive manufacturers an advanced tool that can be used to assess the injury risk of vehicle occupants in crash tests. With the recent improvements of finite element (FE) technology and the increase of computational power, a validated FE model of THOR may provide an efficient tool for the design optimization of vehicles and their restraint systems. The main goal of this study was to improve biofidelity of a head-neck FE model of THOR-NT dummy. A three-dimensional FE model of the head and neck was developed in LS-Dyna based on the drawings of the THOR dummy. The material properties of deformable parts and the joints properties between rigid parts were assigned initially based on data found in the literature, and then calibrated using optimization techniques.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of an Occupant Lower Limb Finite Element Model

2011-04-12
2011-01-1128
More than half of occupant lower extremity (LEX) injuries due to automotive frontal crashes are in the knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex. To design the injury countermeasures for the occupant LEX, first the biomechanical and injury responses of the occupant LEX components during automotive frontal crashes should be known. The objective of this study is to develop a detailed biofidelic occupant LEX Finite Element (FE) model based on the component surfaces reconstructed from the medical image data of a 50th percentile male volunteer in a sitting posture. Both volumetric (unstructured) and structural mesh methods were used to generate the solid elements (mostly hexahedral type) to enhance the model simulation accuracy. The FE model includes the femur, tibia, fibula, patella, cartilage, ligaments, menisci, patella tendon, flesh, muscle, and skin. The constitutive material models and their corresponding parameters were defined based on literature data.
Technical Paper

Comprehensive Computational Rollover Sensitivity Study Part 2: Influence of Vehicle, Crash, and Occupant Parameters on Head, Neck, and Thorax Response

2011-04-12
2011-01-1115
Fatalities resulting from vehicle rollover events account for over one-third of all U.S. motor vehicle occupant fatalities. While a great deal of research has been directed towards the rollover problem, few studies have attempted to determine the sensitivity of occupant injury risk to variations in the vehicle (roof strength), crash (kinematic conditions at roof-to-ground contact), and occupant (anthropometry, position and posture) parameters that define the conditions of the crash. A two-part computational study was developed to examine the sensitivity of injury risk to changes in these parameters. The first part of this study, the Crash Parameter Sensitivity Study (CPSS), demonstrated the influence of parameters describing the vehicle and the crash on vehicle response using LS-DYNA finite element (FE) simulations.
Technical Paper

Patterns of Acetabular Femoral Head Coverage

2011-11-07
2011-22-0018
The size and shape of the acetabulum and of the femoral head influence the injury tolerance of the hip joint. The aim of this study is to quantify changes in acetabular cup geometry that occur with age, gender, height, and weight. Anonymized computed tomography (CT) scans of 1,150 individuals 16+ years of age, both with and without hip trauma, were used to describe the acetabular rim with 100 equally spaced points. Bilateral measurements were taken on uninjured patients, while only the uninjured side was valuated in those with hip trauma. Multinomial logistic regression found that after controlling for age, height, weight, and gender, each 1 degree decrease in acetabular anteversion angle (AAA) corresponded to an 8 percent increase in fracture likelihood (p≺0.001).
Technical Paper

Whole-Body Response to Pure Lateral Impact

2010-11-03
2010-22-0014
The objective of the current study was to provide a comprehensive characterization of human biomechanical response to whole-body, lateral impact. Three approximately 50th-percentile adult male PMHS were subjected to right-side pure lateral impacts at 4.3 ± 0.1 m/s using a rigid wall mounted to a rail-mounted sled. Each subject was positioned on a rigid seat and held stationary by a system of tethers until immediately prior to being impacted by the moving wall with 100 mm pelvic offset. Displacement data were obtained using an optoelectronic stereophotogrammetric system that was used to track the 3D motions of the impacting wall sled; seat sled, and reflective targets secured to the head, spine, extremities, ribcage, and shoulder complex of each subject. Kinematic data were also recorded using 3-axis accelerometer cubes secured to the head, pelvis, and spine at the levels of T1, T6, T11, and L3. Chest deformation in the transverse plane was recorded using a single chestband.
Technical Paper

Structural Response of Cadaveric Ribcages Under a Localized Loading: Stiffness and Kinematic Trends

2010-11-03
2010-22-0015
To improve understanding of structural coupling and deformation patterns throughout the loaded ribcage, the present study reports the force-displacement and kinematic responses under a highly localized loading condition using three PMHS ribcages (ages 44, 61, and 63 years). The ribcages were quasi-statically loaded locally to a non-failure displacement (nominally 15% of the ribcage depth at the loaded rib level) at approximately 25 unilateral locations and 5-7 geometrically symmetric bilateral locations on the anterior surface of each ribcage, for a total of 94 tests. The translations of 56 points distributed around the anterior, lateral, and posterior portions of the superficial surface of the ribcage were measured while under loading. Each of the first through sixth rib levels was then separated from the remaining ribs, and this "rib ring" structure was individually loaded at the sternum in the anterior-posterior direction.
Technical Paper

Occupant Kinematics in Laboratory Rollover Tests: ATD Response and Biofidelity

2014-11-10
2014-22-0012
Rollover crashes are a serious public health problem in United States, with one third of traffic fatalities occurring in crashes where rollover occurred. While it has been shown that occupant kinematics affect the injury risk in rollover crashes, no anthropomorphic test device (ATD) has yet demonstrated kinematic biofidelity in rollover crashes. Therefore, the primary goal of this study was to assess the kinematic response biofidelity of six ATDs (Hybrid III, Hybrid III Pedestrian, Hybrid III with Pedestrian Pelvis, WorldSID, Polar II and THOR) by comparing them to post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) kinematic response targets published concurrently; and the secondary goal was to evaluate and compare the kinematic response differences among these ATDs.
Technical Paper

The Contribution of Pre-impact Spine Posture on Human Body Model Response in Whole-body Side Impact

2014-11-10
2014-22-0014
The objective of the study was to analyze independently the contribution of pre-impact spine posture on impact response by subjecting a finite element human body model (HBM) to whole-body, lateral impacts. Seven postured models were created from the original HBM: one matching the standard driving posture and six matching pre-impact posture measured for each of six subjects tested in previously published experiments. The same measurements as those obtained during the experiments were calculated from the simulations, and biofidelity metrics based on signals correlation were established to compare the response of HBM to that of the cadavers. HBM responses showed good correlation with the subject response for the reaction forces, the rib strain (correlation score=0.8) and the overall kinematics. The pre-impact posture was found to greatly alter the reaction forces, deflections and the strain time histories mainly in terms of time delay.
Technical Paper

Blood Flow and Fluid-Structure Interactions in the Human Aorta During Traumatic Rupture Conditions

2007-10-29
2007-22-0010
Traumatic aortic rupture (TAR) accounts for a significant mortality in automobile crashes. A numerical method by means of a mesh-based code coupling is employed to elucidate the injury mechanism of TAR. The aorta is modeled as a single-layered thick wall composed of two families of collagen fibers using an anisotropic strain energy function with consideration of viscoelasticity. A set of constitutive parameters is identified from experimental data of the human aorta, providing strict local convexity. An in vitro aorta model reconstructed from the Visible Human dataset is applied to the pulsatile blood flow to establish the references of mechanical quantities for physiological conditions. A series of simulations is performed using the parameterized impact pulses obtained from frontal sled tests.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Strain and Loads Measured in the Long Bones With Observed Kinematics of the Lower Limb During Vehicle-Pedestrian Impacts

2007-10-29
2007-22-0018
The purpose of this study is to determine the loads in the long bones of the lower extremities during vehicle pedestrian impact tests, and to correlate load data with observed kinematics in an effort to understand how stature and vehicle shape influence pedestrian response. In tests with a large sedan and a small multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), four postmortem human surrogates (PMHS) in mid-stance gait were struck laterally at 40 km/h. Prior to the tests, each PMHS was instrumented with four uniaxial strain gages around the mid-shaft cross section of the struck-side (right) tibia and the femora bilaterally. After the tests, the non-fractured bones were harvested and subjected to three-point bending experiments. The effective elastic moduli were determined by relating the applied bending loads with the measured strains using strain gage locations, detailed bone geometry, and elastic beam theory.
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

Impact Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests: Skeletal Deformation Patterns Under Seat Belt Loading

2009-11-02
2009-22-0001
This study evaluated the response of restrained post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in 40 km/h frontal sled tests. Eight male PMHS were restrained on a rigid planar seat by a custom 3-point shoulder and lap belt. A video motion tracking system measured three-dimensional trajectories of multiple skeletal sites on the torso allowing quantification of ribcage deformation. Anterior and superior displacement of the lower ribcage may have contributed to sternal fractures occurring early in the event, at displacement levels below those typically considered injurious, suggesting that fracture risk is not fully described by traditional definitions of chest deformation. The methodology presented here produced novel kinematic data that will be useful in developing biofidelic human models.
Technical Paper

The Tolerance of the Femoral Shaft in Combined Axial Compression and Bending Loading

2009-11-02
2009-22-0010
The likelihood of a front seat occupant sustaining a femoral shaft fracture in a frontal crash has traditionally been assessed by an injury criterion relying solely on the axial force in the femur. However, recently published analyses of real-world data indicate that femoral shaft fracture occurs at axial loads levels below those found experimentally. One hypothesis attempting to explain this discrepancy suggests that femoral shaft fracture tends to occur as a result of combined axial compression and applied bending. The current study aims to evaluate this hypothesis by investigating how these two loading components interact. Femoral shafts harvested from human cadavers were loaded to failure in axial compression, sagittal plane bending, and combined axial compression and sagittal plane bending.
Technical Paper

Pediatric Thoracoabdominal Biomechanics

2009-11-02
2009-22-0013
No experimental data exist quantifying the force-deformation behavior of the pediatric chest when subjected to non-impact, dynamic loading from a diagonal belt or a distributed loading surface. Kent et al., (2006) previously published juvenile abdominal response data collected using a porcine model. This paper reports on a series of experiments on a 7-year-old pediatric post-mortem human subject (PMHS) undertaken to guide the scaling of existing adult thoracic response data for application to the child and to assess the validity of the porcine abdominal model. The pediatric PMHS exhibited abdominal response similar to the swine, including the degree of rate sensitivity. The upper abdomen of the PMHS was slightly stiffer than the porcine behavior, while the lower abdomen of the PMHS fit within the porcine corridor. Scaling of adult thoracic response data using any of four published techniques did not successfully predict the pediatric behavior.
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

Finite Element Analysis of Hard and Soft Tissue Contributions to Thoracic Response: Sensitivity Analysis of Fluctuations in Boundary Conditions

2006-11-06
2006-22-0008
Thoracic trauma is the principle causative factor in 30% of road traffic deaths. Researchers have developed force-deflection corridors of the thorax for various loading conditions in order to elucidate injury mechanisms and to validate the mechanical response of ATDs and numerical human models. A corridor, rather than a single response characteristic, results from the variability inherent in biological experimentation. This response variability is caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors are associated with individual differences among human subjects, e.g., the differences in material properties and in body geometry. The extrinsic sources of variability include fluctuations in the loading and supporting conditions in experimental tests.
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

A Finite Element Model of the Lower Limb for Simulating Pedestrian Impacts

2005-11-09
2005-22-0008
A finite element (FE) model of the lower limb was developed to improve the understanding of injury mechanisms of thigh, knee, and leg during car-to-pedestrian impacts and to aid in the design of injury countermeasures for vehicle front-ends. The geometry of the model was reconstructed from CT scans of the Visible Human Project Database and commercial anatomical databases. The geometry and mass were scaled to those of a 50th percentile male and the entire lower limb was positioned in a standing position according to the published anthropometric references. A "structural approach" was utilized to generate the FE mesh using mostly hexahedral and quadrilateral elements to enhance the computational efficiency of the model. The material properties were selected based on a synthesis on current knowledge of the constitutive models for each tissue.
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.
Journal Article

Improving Earpiece Accelerometer Coupling to the Head

2008-12-02
2008-01-2978
As accurate measuring of head accelerations is an important aspect in predicting head injury, it is important that the measuring sensor be well-coupled to the head. Various sensors and sensor mounting schemes have been attempted in the past with varying results. This study uses a small, implantable acceleration sensor pack in the ear to study impact coupling with the human skull. The output from these ear-mounted accelerometers is compared to laboratory reference accelerometers rigidly attached to the skull of two cadaveric head specimens for both low-amplitude oscillatory tests and high-amplitude impact drop tests. The combination of sensor type and mounting scheme demonstrates the feasibility of using ear mounted sensors to predict head acceleration response. Previously reported progressive phase lag was not seen in this study, with the comparison between ear mounted accelerometers and rigidly mounted head accelerometers ranging from very good to excellent.
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