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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

Brain/Skull Relative Displacement Magnitude Due to Blunt Head Impact: New Experimental Data and Model

Relative motion between the brain and skull may explain many types of brain injury such as intracerebral hematomas due to bridging veins rupture [1] and cerebral contusions. However, no experimental methods have been developed to measure the magnitude of this motion. Consequently, relative motion between the brain and skull predicted by analytical tools has never been validated. In this study, radio opaque markers were placed in the skull and neutral density markers were placed in the brain in two vertical columns in the occipitoparietal and temporoparietal regions. A bi-planar, high-speed x-ray system was used to track the motion of these markers. Due to limitations in current technology to record the x-ray image on high-speed video cameras, only low- speed (﹤ 4m/s) impact data were available.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of TTI and ASA in SID Side Impact Sled Tests

Thirty-seven SID side impact sled tests were performed using a rigid wall and a padded wall with fourteen different padding configurations. The Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) and Average Spine Acceleration (ASA) were measured in each test. TTI and ASA were evaluated in terms of their ability to predict injury in identical cadaver tests and in terms of their ability to predict the harm or benefit of padding of different crush strengths. SID ASA predicted the injury seen in WSU-CDC cadaver tests better than SID TTI. SID ASA predicted that padding of greater than 20 psi crush strength is harmful (ASA > 40 g's). SID TTI predicted that padding of greater than 20 psi crush strength is beneficial (TTI < 85 g's). SID TTI predicts the benefit of lower impact velocity. However, SID ASA appears more useful in assessing the harm or benefit of door padding or air bags.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Modeling of Gross Motion of Human Cadavers in Side Impact

Seventeen Heidelberg type cadaveric side impact sled tests, two sled-to-sled tests, and forty-four pendulum tests have been conducted at Wayne State University, to determine human responses and tolerances in lateral collisions. This paper describes the development of a simplified finite element model of a human occupant in a side impact configuration to simulate those cadaveric experiments. The twelve ribs were modeled by shell elements. The visceral contents were modeled as an elastic solid accompanied by an array of discrete dampers. Bone condition factors were obtained after autopsy to provide material properties for the model. The major parameters used for comparison are contact forces at the level of shoulder, thorax, abdomen and pelvis, lateral accelerations of ribs 4 and 8 and of T12, thoracic compression and injury functions V*C, TTI and ASA.
Technical Paper

Displacement Responses of the Shoulder and Thorax in Lateral Sled Impacts

Three-dimensional film analysis was used to study the response of the shoulder and thoracic skeleton of cadavers to lateral sled tests conducted at Wayne State University. The response of the shoulder structure was of particular interest, although, it is perhaps the most difficult skeletal structure to track in a side impact. Results of the three-dimensional film analysis are given for rigid impacts at 6.7 and 9.1 meters per second, and for padded impacts averaging 9 meters per second. Results from a two-dimensional film analysis are included for the impacted clavicle which could not be tracked by the three-dimensional film analysis. Displacements at various locations on the shoulder and thoracic skeleton were normalized to estimate the response of a fiftieth percentile male.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Modeling of Direct Head Impact

A 3-D finite element human head model has been developed to study the dynamic response of the human head to direct impact by a rigid impactor. The model simulated closely the main anatomical features of an average adult head. It included the scalp, a three-layered skull, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), dura mater, falx cerebri, and brain. The layered skull, cerebral spinal fluid, and brain were modeled as brick elements with one-point integration. The scalp, dura mater, and falx cerebri were treated as membrane elements. To simulate the strain rate dependent characteristics of the soft tissues, the brain and the scalp were considered as viscoelastic materials. The other tissues of the head were assumed to be elastic. The model contains 6080 nodes, 5456 brick elements, and 1895 shell elements. To validate the head model, it was impacted frontally by a cylinder to simulate the cadaveric tests performed by Nahum et. al. (8).
Technical Paper

Mathematical Model of an Airbag for a Three-Dimensional Occupant Simulation

A mathematical model of an airbag restraint system for automobile drivers, including the simulation of the simultaneous collapse of the steering column, has been developed. The model is designed to work in conjunction with a three-dimensional occupant model. It is capable of assessing the relative effects of airbag size, pressure, deployment rate, venting area, contact force, steering column collapse force, and column collapse distance. The results of the model are compared with experimental runs in which anthropometric dummies were used as test subjects. Good correlation was obtained for torso kinematics. The model can be conveniently used for a parametric study to aid the design of airbag restraint systems.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Characteristics of the Human Spine During -Gx Acceleration

Spinal kinematics and kinetics of human cadaveric specimens subjected to -Gx acceleration are reported along with an attempt to design a surrogate spine for use in an anthropomorphic test device (ATD). There were a total of 30 runs on 9 embalmed and 2 unembalmed cadavers which were heavily instrumented. External photographic targets were attached to T1, T12, and the pelvis to record spinal kinematics. The subjects were restrained by upper and lower leg clamps attached to an impact seat equipped with a six-axis load cell. A rigid link 486 mm long and pinned at both ends was proposed for use in an ATD as a surrogate spine. An optimization method was used to obtain the location and length of a linkage which followed the least squares path of Tl relative to the pelvis.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Impact Loading of the Femur Under Passive Restrained Condition

The biodynamic response of the femur during passively restrained -Gx impact acceleration is reported in this paper. Eleven unembalmed cadavers, ranging in age from 21 to 65 and weighing from 50 to 96 kg, were tested in a VW Rabbit seat with a passive belt and knee restraint. Sectioned parts of the VW knee bolster were placed about 130 mm away from the patella at the initiation of the tests. The height of the knee bolsters was adjusted individually in the eleven tests. Ten were set for loading directly through the patella. In one run, the impact was below the knee joint. The sectioned bolsters were mounted on a rigid frame and instrumented with triaxial load cells. A six-axis load cell was installed in the right femur. Photo targets were attached directly to the femur and tibia. Sled runs were made at 22 and 35 g. Only one cadaver sustained bilateral femoral fractures at 35 g.
Technical Paper

Lower Abdominal Tolerance and Response

Twelve unembalmed human cadavers were tested for lower abdominal injury tolerance and mechanical response. The impacts were in an anterior-to-posterior direction and the level of impact was primarily in the lower abdomen at the L3 level of the lumbar spine. The impactor mass was either 32 kg or 64 kg. The impactor face was a 25 mm diameter aluminum bar, with the long axis of the bar parallel to the width of the cadaver body. In this paper, mechanical response is presented in terms of force-time and penetration-time histories, and force vs. abdominal penetration cross-plots. Injury tolerance is described in terms of post-impact necropsy findings and AIS ratings. Based on our studies, the lower abdomen of the unembalmed human cadaver is much less stiff than is suggested by previous research, and the stiffness is velocity and mass dependent, as is suggested by the correlation coefficients presented in this paper. Force-time history and force-penetration response corridors are presented.
Technical Paper

Facial Impact Tolerance and Response

Facial impact experiments were conducted on eleven unembalmed human cadavers. A 32 kg or 64 kg impactor with a 25 mm diameter, rigid, cylindrical contact surface was oriented in the left-right direction relative to the face and contacted the nose at the elevation of the infraorbital margins. The impactor was propelled toward the race along an anterior-to-posterior path, with contact velocities ranging from 10 to 26 km/h. Accelerometers mounted on the impactor and the occiput provided data for analyzing the dynamics of the impacts. While the threshold for nasal bone fractures was not determined, it appears that a peak force of about 3 kN (filtered 180 Hz) is a representative threshold for more severe fracture patterns. A preliminary dynamic force vs penetration response specification for the above mode of loading is offered.
Technical Paper

SID Response Data in a Side Impact Sled Test Series

Heidelberg-type side impact sled tests were conducted using SID side impact dummies. These tests were run under similar conditions to a series of cadaveric sled tests funded by the Centers for Disease Control in the same lab. Tests included 6.7 and 9 m/s (15 and 20 mph) unpadded and 9 m/s padded tests. The following padding was used at the thorax: ARSAN, ARCEL, ARPAK, ARPRO, DYTHERM, 103 and 159 kPa (15 and 23 psi) crush strength paper honeycomb, and an expanded polystyrene. In all padded tests the dummy Thoracic Trauma Index, TTI(d) was below the value of 85 set by federal rulemaking (49 CFR, Part 571 et al., 1990). In contrast, cadavers in 9 m/s sled tests did not tolerate ARSAN 601 (MAIS 5) and 23 psi (159 kPa) paper honeycomb (MAIS 5), and 20 psi (138 kPa) Verticel™ honeycomb (MAIS 4), but tolerated 15 psi (103 kPa) paper honeycomb (average thoracic MAIS 2.3 in six tests).
Technical Paper

Performance and Mechanical Properties of Various Padding Materials Used in Cadaveric Side Impact Sled Tests

Various types of padding have been used in side impact sled tests with cadavers. This paper presents a summary of performance of the padding used in NHTSA and WSU/CDC sled tests, and a summary of material properties of padding used in cadaveric sled tests. The purpose of this paper is to provide information on padding performance in cadavers, rather than optimum padding performance in dummies.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced ATD Thorax System for Improved Injury Assessment in Frontal Crash Environments

Injuries to the thorax and abdomen comprise a significant percentage of all occupant injuries in motor vehicle accidents. While the percentage of internal chest injuries is reduced for restrained front-seat occupants in frontal crashes, serious skeletal chest injuries and abdominal injuries can still result from interaction with steering wheels and restraint systems. This paper describes the design and performance of prototype components for the chest, abdomen, spine, and shoulders of the Hybrid III dummy that are under development to improve the capability of the Hybrid III frontal crash dummy with regard to restraint-system interaction and injury-sensing capability.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Head and Neck Response During Side Impact

Numerical analyses of head and neck response during side impact are presented in this paper. A mathematical human model for side impact simulation was developed based on previous studies of other researchers. The effects of muscular activities during severe side impact were analyzed with the use of this model. This study shows that the effect of muscular activities is significant especially if the occupant is prepared to resist the impact. This result suggests that the modeling of muscles is important for the simulation of real accident situation.
Technical Paper

A New Model Comparing Impact Responses of the Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Human Brain

A new three-dimensional human head finite element model, consisting of the scalp, skull, dura, falx, tentorium, pia, CSF, venous sinuses, ventricles, cerebrum (gray and white matter), cerebellum, brain stem and parasagittal bridging veins has been developed and partially validated against experimental data of Nahum et al (1977). A frontal impact and a sagittal plane rotational impact were simulated and impact responses from a homogeneous brain were compared with those of an inhomogeneous brain. Previous two-dimensional simulation results showed that differentiation between the gray and white matter and the inclusion of the ventricles are necessary in brain modeling to match regions of high shear stress to locations of diffuse axonal injury (DAI). The three-dimensional simulation results presented here also showed the necessity of including these anatomical features in brain modeling.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Variable Load Energy Absorbers on the Biodynamic Response of Cadavers

Several types of energy absorbers were tested on a sled simulating a crash deceleration using instrumented, seated erect dummies and cadavers. The energy absorbers were mechanical load limiting devices which attenuated the impact by yielding or tearing of metal. Their principal effects were to reduce the peak deceleration sustained by the occupant with the expected reduction in restraint forces. Constant load level energy absorbers were found to be unattractive because they can easily “bottom out” causing forces and body strains which could be much higher than those without absorbers. Head accelerations were significantly reduced by the energy absorbers as well as some body strain. However, spinal strains in the cadaver were not significantly reduced. They appear to be not only a function of the peak deceleration level but also of the duration of the pulse.
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

Mechanisms of Traumatic Rupture of the Aorta and Associated Peri-isthmic Motion and Deformation

This study investigated the mechanisms of traumatic rupture of the aorta (TRA). Eight unembalmed human cadavers were tested using various dynamic blunt loading modes. Impacts were conducted using a 32-kg impactor with a 152-mm face, and high-speed seatbelt pretensioners. High-speed biplane x-ray was used to visualize aortic motion within the mediastinum, and to measure deformation of the aorta. An axillary thoracotomy approach was used to access the peri-isthmic region to place radiopaque markers on the aorta. The cadavers were inverted for testing. Clinically relevant TRA was observed in seven of the tests. Peak average longitudinal Lagrange strain was 0.644, with the average peak for all tests being 0.208 ± 0.216. Peak intraluminal pressure of 165 kPa was recorded. Longitudinal stretch of the aorta was found to be a principal component of injury causation. Stretch of the aorta was generated by thoracic deformation, which is required for injury to occur.
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).