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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

Kinematics of Human Cadaver Cervical Spine During Low Speed Rear-End Impacts

The purposes of this study were to measure the relative linear and angular displacements of each pair of adjacent cervical vertebrae and to compute changes in distance between two adjacent facet joint landmarks during low posterior- anterior (+Gx) acceleration without significant hyperextension of the head. A total of twenty-six low speed rear-end impacts were conducted using six postmortem human specimens. Each cadaver was instrumented with two to three neck targets embedded in each cervical vertebra and nine accelerometers on the head. Sequential x-ray images were collected and analyzed. Two seatback orientations were studied. In the global coordinate system, the head, the cervical vertebrae, and the first or second thoracic vertebra (T1 or T2) were in extension during rear-end impacts. The head showed less extension in comparison with the cervical spine.
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

A Study of the Response of the Human Cadaver Head to Impact

High-speed biplane x-ray and neutral density targets were used to examine brain displacement and deformation during impact. Relative motion, maximum principal strain, maximum shear strain, and intracranial pressure were measured in thirty-five impacts using eight human cadaver head and neck specimens. The effect of a helmet was evaluated. During impact, local brain tissue tends to keep its position and shape with respect to the inertial frame, resulting in relative motion between the brain and skull and deformation of the brain. The local brain motions tend to follow looping patterns. Similar patterns are observed for impact in different planes, with some degree of posterior-anterior and right-left symmetry. Peak coup pressure and pressure rate increase with increasing linear acceleration, but coup pressure pulse duration decreases. Peak average maximum principal strain and maximum shear are on the order of 0.09 for CFC 60 Hz data for these tests.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of the Contribution of the Vasculature on the Dynamic Response of the Brain

Brain tissue architecture consists of a complex network of neurons and vasculature interspersed within a matrix of supporting cells. The role of the relatively suffer blood vessels on the more compliant brain tissues during rapid loading has not been properly investigated. Two 2-D finite element models of the human head were developed. The basic model (Model I) consisted of the skull, dura matter, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), tentorium, brain tissue and the parasagittal bridging veins. The pia mater was also included but in a simplified form which does not correspond to the convolutions of the brain. In Model II, major branches of the cerebral arteries were added to Model I. Material properties for the brain tissues and vasculature were taken from those reported in the literature. The model was first validated against intracranial pressure and brain/skull relative motion data from cadaveric tests.
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

High-Speed Seatbelt Pretensioner Loading of the Abdomen

This study characterizes the response of the human cadaver abdomen to high-speed seatbelt loading using pyrotechnic pretensioners. A test apparatus was developed to deliver symmetric loading to the abdomen using a seatbelt equipped with two low-mass load cells. Eight subjects were tested under worst-case scenario, out-of-position (OOP) conditions. A seatbelt was placed at the level of mid-umbilicus and drawn back along the sides of the specimens, which were seated upright using a fixed-back configuration. Penetration was measured by a laser, which tracked the anterior aspect of the abdomen, and by high-speed video. Additionally, aortic pressure was monitored. Three different pretensioner designs were used, referred to as system A, system B and system C. The B and C systems employed single pretensioners. The A system consisted of two B system pretensioners. The vascular systems of the subjects were perfused.
Technical Paper

Development of Numerical Models for Injury Biomechanics Research: A Review of 50 Years of Publications in the Stapp Car Crash Conference

Numerical analyses frequently accompany experimental investigations that study injury biomechanics and improvements in automotive safety. Limited by computational speed, earlier mathematical models tended to simplify the system under study so that a set of differential equations could be written and solved. Advances in computing technology and analysis software have enabled the development of many sophisticated models that have the potential to provide a more comprehensive understanding of human impact response, injury mechanisms, and tolerance. In this article, 50 years of publications on numerical modeling published in the Stapp Car Crash Conference Proceedings and Journal were reviewed. These models were based on: (a) author-developed equations and software, (b) public and commercially available programs to solve rigid body dynamic models (such as MVMA2D, CAL3D or ATB, and MADYMO), and (c) finite element models.
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).
Technical Paper

Application of a Finite Element Model of the Brain to Study Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms in the Rat

Complete validation of any finite element (FE) model of the human brain is very difficult due to the lack of adequate experimental data. However, more animal brain injury data, especially rat data, obtained under well-defined mechanical loading conditions, are available to advance the understanding of the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, internal response of the brain in these experimental studies could not be measured. The aim of this study was to develop a detailed FE model of the rat brain for the prediction of intracranial responses due to different impact scenarios. Model results were used to elucidate possible brain injury mechanisms. An FE model, consisting of more than 250,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns, was developed to represent the brain of a rat. The model was first validated locally against peak brain deformation data obtained from nine unique dynamic cortical deformation (vacuum) tests.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigations of Interactions between the Knee-Thigh-Hip Complex with Vehicle Interior Structures

Although biomechanical studies on the knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex have been extensive, interactions between the KTH and various vehicular interior design parameters in frontal automotive crashes for newer models have not been reported in the open literature to the best of our knowledge. A 3D finite element (FE) model of a 50th percentile male KTH complex, which includes explicit representations of the iliac wing, acetabulum, pubic rami, sacrum, articular cartilage, femoral head, femoral neck, femoral condyles, patella, and patella tendon, has been developed to simulate injuries such as fracture of the patella, femoral neck, acetabulum, and pubic rami of the KTH complex. Model results compared favorably against regional component test data including a three-point bending test of the femur, axial loading of the isolated knee-patella, axial loading of the KTH complex, axial loading of the femoral head, and lateral loading of the isolated pelvis.
Technical Paper

Motion Analysis of the Mandible during Low-Speed, Rear-End Impacts using High-Speed X-rays

There has been much debate over “whiplash”-induced temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction following low-speed, rear-end automobile collisions. While several authors have reported TMJ injury based on case studies post collision, there has been little biomechanical evidence showing that rear-end impact was the primary cause of such injury. The purpose of this study was to measure the relative translation between the upper and lower incisors in cadavers subjected to low-speed, rear-end impacts. High-speed x-ray images used for this analysis were reported previously for the analysis of cadaveric cervical spine kinematics during low-speed, rear-end impacts. The cadavers were positioned at various seatback angles and body postures, producing an overall picture of various seating scenarios.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of PMHS Lumbar Motion Segments in Lateral Shear

The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of eighteen lumbar spine motion segments subjected to lateral shear forces under quasi-static (0.5 mm/s) and dynamic (500 mm/s) test conditions. The quasi-static test was also performed on the lumbar spine of a side impact anthropomorphic test device, the EuroSID-2 (ES-2). In the quasi-static tests, the maximum force before disc-endplate separation in the PMHS lumbar motion segments was 1850 ± 612 N, while the average linear stiffness of PMHS lumbar motion segments was 323 ± 126 N/mm. There was a statistically significant difference between the quasi-static (1850 ± 612 N) and dynamic (2616 ± 1151 N) maximum shear forces. The ES-2 lumbar spine (149 N/mm) was more compliant than the PMHS lumbar segments under the quasi-static test condition.
Technical Paper

Below Knee Impact Responses using Cadaveric Specimens

Knee injuries represent about 10% of all injuries suffered during car crashes. Efforts to assess the injury risk to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) have been based on a study available in the literature (Viano et al., 1978), in which only two of the five knees tested had PCL ruptures. The aims of the current study were to repeat the study with a higher number of samples, study the effects of other soft tissues on knee response, and assess the adequacy of the experimental setup for the identification of a PCL tolerance. A total of 14 knees were tested using a high-speed materials testing machine. Eight were intact knees (with the patella and all the muscular and ligamentous structures), three were PCL-only knees (patella and all the muscular and ligamentous structures other than the PCL removed), and the last three were PCL-only knees with the tibia protected from bending fracture.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Upper Body and Cervical Spine Kinematics of Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) during Low-Speed, Rear-End Impacts

A total of eight low-speed, rear-end impact tests using two Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) in a seated posture are reported. These tests were conducted using a HYGE-style mini-sled. Two test conditions were employed: 8 kph without a headrestraint or 16 kph with a headrestraint. Upper-body kinematics were captured for each test using a combination of transducers and high-speed video. A 3-2-2-2-accelerometer package was used to measure the generalized 3D kinematics of both the head and pelvis. An angular rate sensor and two single-axis linear accelerometers were used to measure angular speed, angular acceleration, and linear acceleration of T1 in the sagittal plane. Two high-speed video cameras were used to track targets rigidly attached to the head, T1, and pelvis. The cervical spine kinematics were captured with a high-speed, biplane x-ray system by tracking radiopaque markers implanted into each cervical vertebra.
Technical Paper

Aortic Mechanics in High-Speed Racing Crashes

Auto racing has been in vogue from the time automobiles were first built. With the dawn of modern cars came higher engine capacities; the speeds involved in these races and crashes increased as well. However, the advent of passive restraint systems such as the helmet, HANS (Head and Neck Support device), multi-point harness system, roll cage, side and frontal crush zones, racing seats, fire retardant suits, and soft-wall technology, have greatly improved the survivability of the drivers in high-speed racing crashes. Three left lateral crashes from Begeman and Melvin (2002), Case #LAS12, #IND14 and #99TX were used as inputs to the Wayne State Human Body Model (WSHBM) in a simulated racing buck. Twelve simulations with delta-v, six-point harness and shoulder pad as design variables were analyzed for the average maximum principal strain (AMPS) in the aorta. The average AMPS for the high-speed crashes were 0.1551±0.0172 while the average maximum pressure was 110.50±4.25 kPa.
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

Analysis of a Real-World Crash Using Finite Element Modeling to Examine Traumatic Rupture of the Aorta

One of the leading causes of death in automotive crashes is traumatic rupture of the aorta (TRA) or blunt aortic injury (BAI). The risk of fatality is high if an aortic injury is not detected and treated promptly. The objective of this study is to investigate TRA mechanisms using finite element (FE) simulations of reconstructed real-world accidents involving aortic injury. For this application, a case was obtained from the William Lehman Injury Research Center (WLIRC), which is a Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) center. In this selected crash, the case vehicle was struck on the left side with a Principal Direction of Force (PDoF) of 290 degrees. The side structure of the case vehicle crushed a maximum of 0.33 m. The total delta-V was estimated to be 6.2 m/s. The occupant, a 62-year old mid-sized male, was fatally injured. The occupant sustained multiple rib fractures, laceration of the right ventricle, and TRA, among other injuries.
Technical Paper

Reconstruction of Pediatric Occupant Kinematic Responses Using Finite Element Method in a Real-World Lateral Impact

Computational human body models, especially detailed finite element models are suitable for investigation of human body kinematic responses and injury mechanism. A real-world lateral vehicle-tree impact accident was reconstructed by using finite element method according to the accident description in the CIREN database. At first, a baseline vehicle FE model was modified and validated according to the NCAP lateral impact test. The interaction between the car and the tree in the accident was simulated using LS-Dyna software. Parameters that affect the simulation results, such as the initial pre-crash speed, impact direction, and the initial impact location on the vehicle, were analyzed. The parameters were determined by matching the simulated vehicle body deformations and kinematics to the accident reports.
Technical Paper

Determination of Impact Responses of ES-2re and SID-IIs - Part III: Development of Transfer Functions

An understanding of stiffness characteristics of different body regions, such as thorax, abdomen and pelvis of ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies under controlled laboratory test conditions is essential for development of both compatible performance targets for countermeasures and occupant protection strategies to meet the recently updated FMVSS214, LINCAP and IIHS Dynamic Side Impact Test requirements. The primary purpose of this study is to determine the transfer functions between the ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies for different body regions under identical test conditions using flat rigid wall sled tests. The experimental set-up consists of a flat rigid wall with five instrumented load-wall plates aligned with dummy’s shoulder, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and femur/knee impacting a stationary dummy seated on a rigid low friction seat at a pre-determined velocity.