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Technical Paper

Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Shoulder

Previous studies have hypothesized that the shoulder may be used to absorb some impact energy and reduce chest injury due to side impacts. Before this hypothesis can be tested, a good understanding of the injury mechanisms and the kinematics of the shoulder is critical for occupant protection in side impact. However, existing crash dummies and numerical models are not designed to reproduce the kinematics and kinetics of the human shoulder. The purpose of this study was to develop a finite element model of the human shoulder in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the injury mechanisms and the kinematics of the shoulder in side impact. Basic anthropometric data of the human shoulder used to develop the skeletal and muscular portions of this model were taken from commercial data packages. The shoulder model included three bones (the humerus, scapula and clavicle) and major ligaments and muscles around the shoulder.
Technical Paper

A tibial mid-shaft injury mechanism in frontal automotive crashes

Lower extremity injuries in frontal automotive crashes usually occur with footwell intrusion where both the knee and foot are constrained. In order to identify factors associated with tibial shaft injury, a series of numerical simulations were conducted using a finite element model of the whole human body. These simulations demonstrated that tibial mid-shaft injuries in frontal crashes could be caused by an abrupt change in velocity and a high rate of footwell intrusion.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Characterization of Porcine Abdominal Organs

Typical automotive related abdominal injuries occur due to contact with the rim of the steering wheel, seatbelt and armrest, however, the rate is less than in other body regions. When solid abdominal organs, such as the liver, kidneys and spleen are involved, the injury severity tends to be higher. Although sled and pendulum impact tests have been conducted using cadavers and animals, the mechanical properties and the tissue level injury tolerance of abdominal solid organs are not well characterized. These data are needed in the development of computer models, the improvement of current anthropometric test devices and the enhancement of our understanding of abdominal injury mechanisms. In this study, a series of experimental tests on solid abdominal organs was conducted using porcine liver, kidney and spleen specimens. Additionally, the injury tolerance of the solid organs was deduced from the experimental data.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Anteroposterior Head-Neck Responses during Severe Frontal Impacts Using a Brain-Spinal Cord Complex FE Model

Injuries of the human brain and spinal cord associated with the central nervous system (CNS) are seen in automotive accidents. CNS injuries are generally categorized into severe injuries (AIS 3+). However, it is not clear how the restraint conditions affect the CNS injuries. This paper presents a newly developed three-dimensional (3D) finite element head-neck model in order to investigate the biomechanical responses of the brain-spinal cord complex. The head model consists of the scalp, skull, and a detailed description of the brain including the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem with distinct white and gray matter, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), sagittal sinus, dura, pia, arachnoid, meninx, falx cerebri, and tentorium. Additionally, the neck model consists of the cervical vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments, spinal cord with white and gray matter, cervical pia, and CSF.
Technical Paper

A Study of Cervical Spine Kinematics and Joint Capsule Strain in Rear Impacts using a Human FE Model

Many efforts have been made to understand the mechanism of whiplash injury. Recently, the cervical facet joint capsules have been focused on as a potential site of injury. An experimental approach has been taken to analyze the vertebral motion and to estimate joint capsule stretch that was thought to be a potential cause of pain. The purpose of this study is to analyze the kinematics of the cervical facet joint using a human FE model in order to better understand the injury mechanism. The Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) was used to visually analyze the local and global kinematics of the spine. Soft tissues in the neck were newly modeled and introduced into THUMS for estimating the loading level in rear impacts. The model was first validated against human test data in the literature by comparing vertebrae motion as well as head and neck responses. Joint capsule strain was estimated from a maximum principal strain output from the elements representing the capsule tissues.
Technical Paper

A Study of Knee Joint Kinematics and Mechanics using a Human FE Model

Posterior translation of the tibia with respect to the femur can stretch the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Fifteen millimeters of relative displacement between the femur and tibia is known as the Injury Assessment Reference Value (IARV) for the PCL injury. Since the anterior protuberance of the tibial plateau can be the first site of contact when the knee is flexed, the knee bolster is generally designed with an inclined surface so as not to directly load the projection in frontal crashes. It should be noted, however, that the initial flexion angle of the occupant knee can vary among individuals and the knee flexion angle can change due to the occupant motion. The behavior of the tibial protuberance related to the knee flexion angle has not been described yet. The instantaneous angle of the knee joint at the timing of restraining the knee should be known to manage the geometry and functions of knee restraint devices.
Technical Paper

Ankle Skeletal Injury Predictions Using Anisotropic Inelastic Constitutive Model of Cortical Bone Taking into Account Damage Evolution

The most severe ankle skeletal injury called pilon fractures can cause long term disability and impairment. Based on previous experimental studies, the pilon fractures are regarded as caused by a high-energy compressive force in the ankle joint and affected by a muscular tension force generated by emergency braking. However, quantitative injury criteria for the pilon fractures are still unknown. More accurate prediction of bone fractures in the distal tibia using a FE model of human lower leg can help us know the quantitative injury criteria. Therefore we newly proposed an anisotropic inelastic constitutive model of cortical bone including damage evolution and then implemented it to a FE code, LS-DYNA. The proposed model successfully reproduced most of anisotropy, strain rate dependency, and asymmetry of tension and compression on material and failure properties of human femoral cortical bone.
Technical Paper

Development of a Three-Dimensional Finite Element Chest Model for the 5th Percentile Female

Several three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) models of the human body have been developed to elucidate injury mechanisms due to automotive crashes. However, these models are mainly focused on 50th percentile male. As a first step towards a better understanding of injury biomechanics in the small female, a 3D FE model of a 5th percentile female human chest (FEM-5F) has been developed and validated against experimental data obtained from two sets of frontal impact, one set of lateral impact, two sets of oblique impact and a series of ballistic impacts. Two previous FE models, a small female Total HUman Model for Safety (THUMS-AF05) occupant version 1.0ϐ (Kimpara et al., 2002) and the Wayne State University Human Thoracic Model (WSUHTM, Wang 1995 and Shah et al., 2001) were integrated and modified for this model development.
Technical Paper

A Study of Driver Injury Mechanism in High Speed Lateral Impacts of Stock Car Auto Racing Using a Human Body FE Model

This paper analyzed the mechanisms of injury in high speed, right-lateral impacts of stock car auto racing, and interaction of the occupant and the seat system for the purpose of reducing the risk of injury, primarily rib fractures. Many safety improvements have been made to stock car racing recently, including the Head and Neck Support devices (HANS®), the 6-point restraint harnesses, and the implementation of the SAFER Barrier. These improvements have contributed greatly to mitigating injury during the race crash event. However, there is still potential to improve the seat structure and the understanding of the interaction between the driver and the seat in the continuation of making racing safety improvements. This is particularly true in the case of right-lateral impacts where the primary interaction is between the seat supports and the driver and where the chest is the primary region of injury.
Technical Paper

Occupant Kinematics and Estimated Effectiveness of Side Airbags in Pole Side Impacts Using a Human FE Model with Internal Organs

When a car collides against a pole-like obstacle, the deformation pattern of the vehicle body-side tends to extend to its upper region. A possible consequence is an increase of loading to the occupant thorax. Many studies have been conducted to understand human thoracic responses to lateral loading, and injury criteria have been developed based on the results. However, injury mechanisms, especially those of internal organs, are not well understood. A human body FE model was used in this study to simulate occupant kinematics in a pole side impact. Internal organ parts were introduced into the torso model, including their geometric features, material properties and connections with other tissues. The mechanical responses of the model were validated against PMHS data in the literature. Although injury criterion for each organ has not been established, pressure level and its changes can be estimated from the organ models.
Technical Paper

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

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

Research of the Relationship of Pedestrian Injury to Collision Speed, Car-type, Impact Location and Pedestrian Sizes using Human FE model (THUMS Version 4)

Injuries in car to pedestrian collisions are affected by various factors such as the vehicle body type, pedestrian body size and impact location as well as the collision speed. This study aimed to investigate the influence of such factors taking a Finite Element (FE) approach. A total of 72 collision cases were simulated using three different vehicle FE models (Sedan, SUV, Mini-Van), three different pedestrian FE models (AM50, AF05, AM95), assuming two different impact locations (center and the corner of the bumper) and at four different collision speeds (20, 30, 40 and 50 km/h). The impact kinematics and the responses of the pedestrian model were validated against those in the literature prior to the simulations. The relationship between the collision speed and the predicted occurrence of head and chest injuries was examined for each case, analyzing the impact kinematics of the pedestrian against the vehicle body and resultant loading to the head and the chest.
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

Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Lower Extremity for Analyses of Automotive Crash Injuries

A finite element model of the human lower extremity has been developed to predict lower extremity injuries in full frontal and offset frontal impact. The model included 30bones from femur to toes. Each bone was modeled using crushable solid elements for the orbicular bone and damageable shell elements for the cortical bone. The models of the long bones for the lower extremities were validated against data obtained from quasi-static 3-pointbending tests by Yamada (1970). The ankle, knee and hip joints were modeled as bone-to-bone contacts and included major ligaments and tendons. The ankle model was validated against data obtained from quasi-staticdorsiflexion, inversion and eversion tests by Petit et al. (1996) and against data obtained from dynamic impactcadaveric tests by Kitagawa et al. (1998). The possibility of using this model to predict injuries was discussed.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Characteristics of Motor Vehicles on “Drum Tester” - for a Motion System of a Driving Simulator

A newly designed driving simulator for analysis of a driver-vehicle system was developed. It is composed of the “drum tester” with a real vehicle and a visual system. The drum tester is a lateral motion simulator for invetigating stability and controllability of vehicles with great accuracy in the laboratory. A driver is able to operate the real vehicle on the drum tester because it allows the vehicle yaw and roll rotation and lateral motion within the limits of drum width. The drum tester is suited for the analysis of lane change and straight running tests because of the limited drum width. It was used for a motion system in the driving simulator. It has been proved that dynamic characteristics of the vehicle on the drum tester are well corresponding to those on the road under the same conditions not only experimentally but also theoretically.
Technical Paper

Relationship between Localized Spine Deformation and Cervical Vertebral Motions for Low Speed Rear Impacts Using Human Volunteers

It is important to more clearly identify the relationship among the ramping-up motion, straightening of the whole spine, and cervical vertebrae motion in order to clarify minor neck injury mechanism. The aim of the current study is to verify the influence of the change of the spine configuration on human cervical vertebral motion and on head/neck/torso kinematics under low speed rear-end impacts. Seven healthy human volunteers participated in the experiment under the supervision of an ethics committee. Each subject sat on a seat mounted on a sled that glided backward on rails and simulated actual car impact acceleration. Impact speeds (4, 6, and 8 km/h), and seat stiffness (rigid and soft) without headrest were selected. During the experiment, the change of the spine configuration (measured by a newly developed spine deformation sensor with 33 paired set strain gauges and placed on the skin) and the interface load-pressure distribution was recorded.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Simulation of Ankle/Foot Injury in Frontal Crashes

Finite element models of human body segments have been developed in recent years. Numerical simulation could be helpful when understanding injury mechanisms and to make injury assessments. In the lower leg injury research in NISSAN, a finite element model of the human ankle/foot is under development. The mesh for the bony part was taken from the original model developed by Beaugonin et al., but was revised by adding soft tissue to reproduce realistic responses. Damping effect in a high speed contact was taken into account by modeling skin and fat in the sole of the foot. The plantar aponeurosis tendon was modeled by nonlinear bar elements connecting the phalanges to the calcaneus. The rigid body connection, which was defined at the toe in the original model for simplicity, was removed and the transverse ligaments were added instead in order to bind the metatarsals and the phalanges. These tendons and ligaments were expected to reproduce a realistic response in compression.
Journal Article

Analysis of Driver Kinematics and Lower Thoracic Spine Injury in World Endurance Championship Race Cars during Frontal Impacts

This study used finite element (FE) simulations to analyze the injury mechanisms of driver spine fracture during frontal crashes in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) series and possible countermeasures are suggested to help reduce spine fracture risk. This FE model incorporated the Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) scaled to a driver, a model of the detailed racecar cockpit and a model of the seat/restraint systems. A frontal impact deceleration pulse was applied to the cockpit model. In the simulation, the driver chest moved forward under the shoulder belt and the pelvis was restrained by the crotch belt and the leg hump. The simulation predicted spine fracture at T11 and T12. It was found that a combination of axial compression force and bending moment at the spine caused the fractures. The axial compression force and bending moment were generated by the shoulder belt down force as the driver’s chest moved forward.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Driver and a “Four Wheel Steering Vehicle” System Using a Driving Simulator ISSN0148-7191

Four wheel steering vehicle (hereafter called “4WS”) is a passenger car having simultaneously steerable front and rear wheels. But driver's desired steering control characteristics for 4WS have not been determined yet. This paper reports the driver's steering control characteristics, described by a transfer function, to various kinds of vehicles including 4WS, which were obtained by test results of a driver-vehicle system using the driving simulator. This paper also reports evaluation results about the dynamic characteristics of the vehicles from a standpoint of the driver's steering control characteristics.
Technical Paper

A Severe Ankle and Foot Injury in Frontal Crashes and Its Mechanism

In a frontal automotive crash, the driver's foot is usually stepping on the brake pedal as an instinctive response to avoid a collision. The tensile force generated in the Achilles tendon produces a compressive preload on the tibia. If there is intrusion of the toe board after the crash, an additional external force is applied to the driver's foot. A series of dynamic impact tests using human cadaveric specimens was conducted to investigate the combined effect of muscle preloading and external force. A constant tendon force was applied to the calcaneus while an external impact force was applied to the forefoot by a rigid pendulum. Preloading the tibia significantly increased the tibial axial force and the combination of these forces resulted in five tibial pylon fractures out of sixteen specimens.