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Technical Paper

Laboratory Investigations and Mathematical Modeling of Airbag-Induced Skin Burns

1994-11-01
942217
Although driver-side airbag systems provide protection against serious head and chest injuries in frontal impacts, injuries produced by the airbag itself have also been reported. Most of these injuries are relatively minor, and consist primarily of skin abrasions and burns. Previous investigations have addressed the mechanisms of airbag-induced skin abrasion. In the current research, laboratory studies related to the potential for thermal burns due to high-temperature airbag exhaust gas were conducted. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to produce a 10-mm-diameter jet of hot air that was directed onto the leg skin of human volunteers in time-controlled pulses. Skin burns were produced in 70 of 183 exposures conducted using air temperatures ranging from 350 to 550°C, air velocities from 50 to 90 m/s, and exposure durations from 50 to 300 ms.
Technical Paper

Simulation Analysis of Head and Neck Dynamic Response

1984-10-01
841668
The objectives of this study are to quantify the biomechanical properties of the human neck which govern head and neck dynamic response and to establish the mechanisms responsible for primary aspects of response. Computer simulations with the MVMA 2-D and VOM 3-D occupant dynamics models were performed using head and neck sled input response data from human subjects at the Naval Biodynamics Laboratory for input and comparison. Predicted dynamic response data and preliminary values for biomechanical parameters in a three-dimensional head/neck model capable of accurately simulating response for −X, +Y, and −X+Y sled acceleration vectors are presented. The established analytical model should accurately predict head and neck responses in simulations of real-world automobile crashes where direct head impact is not involved. Additionally, the model can be used to assist in development of a design plan for the neck of advanced anthropomorphic test dummies.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Properties of the Human Neck in Lateral Flexion

1975-02-01
751156
Properties of the human neck which may influence a person's susceptibility to “whiplash” injury during lateral impact have been studied in 96 normal subjects. Subjects were chosen on the basis of age, sex, and stature and data were grouped into six primary categories based on sex (F, M) and age (18-24, 35-44, 62-74). The data include: measures of head, neck and body anthropometry in standing and simulated automotive seating positions, three-dimensional range of motion of the head and neck, head/neck response to low-level acceleration, and both stretch reflex time and voluntary isometric muscle force in the lateral direction. Reflex times are found to vary from about 30 to 70 ms with young and middle aged persons having faster times than older persons, and females having faster times than males. Muscle strength decreases with age and males are, on the average, stronger than females.
Technical Paper

A Method for Documenting Locations of Rib Fractures for Occupants in Real-World Crashes Using Medical Computed Tomography (CT) Scans

2006-04-03
2006-01-0250
A method has been developed to identify and document the locations of rib fractures from two-dimensional CT images obtained from occupants of crashes investigated in the Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN). The location of each rib fracture includes the vertical location by rib number (1 through 12), the lateral location by side of the thorax (inboard and outboard), and the circumferential location by five 36-degree segments relative to the sternum and spine. The latter include anterior, anterior-lateral, lateral, posterior-lateral, and posterior regions. 3D reconstructed images of the whole ribcage created from the 2D CT images using Voxar software are used to help identify fractures and their rib number. A geometric method for consistently locating each fracture circumferentially is described.
Technical Paper

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

1992-11-01
922520
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

Investigation of Airbag-Induced Skin Abrasions

1992-11-01
922510
Static deployments of driver-side airbags into the legs of human subjects were used to investigate the effects of inflator capacity, internal airbag tethering, airbag fabric, and the distance from the module on airbag-induced skin abrasion. Abrasion mechanisms were described by measurements of airbag fabric velocity and target surface pressure. Airbag fabric kinematics resulting in three distinct abrasion patterns were identified. For all cases, abrasions were found to be caused primarily by high-velocity fabric impactrather than scraping associated with lateral fabric motion. Use of higher-capacity inflators increased abrasion severity, and untethered airbags produced more severe abrasions than tethered airbags at distances greater than the length of the tether. Abrasion severity decreased as the distance increased from 225 to 450 mm. Use of a finer-weave airbag fabric in place of a coarser-weave fabric did not decrease the severity of abrasion.
Technical Paper

Challenges in Frontal Crash Protection of Pregnant Drivers Based on Anthropometric Considerations

1999-03-01
1999-01-0711
Pregnant occupants pose a particular challenge to safety engineers because of their different anthropometry and the additional “occupant within the occupant.” A detailed study of the anthropometry and seated posture of twentytwo pregnant drivers over the course of their pregnancies was conducted. Subjects were tested in an adjustable seating buck that could be configured to different vehicle package geometries with varying belt anchorage locations. Each subject was tested four times over the course of her pregnancy to examine changes in seat positioning, seated anthropometry, and positioning of the lap and shoulder belts with gestational age. Data collected include preferred seating positions of pregnant drivers, proximity of the pregnant occupant to the steering wheel and airbag module, contours of the subjects’ torsos and abdomens relative to seat-belt centerline contours, and subject perceptions of their seated posture and proximity to vehicle components.
Technical Paper

Methods for Measuring and Representing Automobile Occupant Posture

1999-03-01
1999-01-0959
Many vehicle design and safety assessment applications use physical and virtual representations of vehicle occupants within the vehicle interior. Proper use of these human models requires accurate data concerning vehicle occupant posture and position. This paper presents techniques for characterizing vehicle occupant posture by measuring accessible body landmarks. The landmark locations are used to estimate joint locations that define a kinematic linkage representation of the human body. The resulting posture analysis techniques provide a unified method of measuring and reporting vehicle occupant postures that is suitable for use with both physical and virtual human models.
Technical Paper

New Concepts in Vehicle Interior Design Using ASPECT

1999-03-01
1999-01-0967
The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program developed a new physical manikin for seat measurement and new techniques for integrating the seat measurements into the vehicle design process. This paper presents an overview of new concepts in vehicle interior design that have resulted from the ASPECT program and other studies of vehicle occupant posture and position conducted at UMTRI. The new methods result from an integration of revised versions of the SAE seat position and eyellipse models with the new tools developed in ASPECT. Measures of seat and vehicle interior geometry are input to statistical posture and position prediction tools that can be applied to any specified user population or individual occupant anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0966
A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

ASPECT: The Next-Generation H-Point Machine and Related Vehicle and Seat Design and Measurement Tools

1999-03-01
1999-01-0962
The ASPECT program was conducted to develop new Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools. This paper presents a summary of the objectives, methods, and results of the program. The primary goal of ASPECT was to create a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point machine. The new ASPECT manikin has an articulated torso linkage, revised seat contact contours, a new weighting scheme, and a simpler, more user-friendly installation procedure. The ASPECT manikin simultaneously measures the H-point location, seat cushion angle, seatback angle, and lumbar support prominence of a seat, and can be used to make measures of seat stiffness. In addition to the physical manikin, the ASPECT program developed new tools for computer-aided design (CAD) of vehicle interiors. The postures and positions of hundreds of vehicle occupants with a wide range of body size were measured in many different vehicle conditions.
Technical Paper

Improved ATD Positioning Procedures

2001-03-05
2001-01-0117
Current anthropomorphic test device (ATD) positioning procedures for drivers and front-seat passengers place the crash dummy within the vehicle by reference to the seat track. Midsize-male ATDs are placed at the center of the fore-aft seat track adjustment range, while small-female and large-male ATDs are placed at the front and rear of the seat track, respectively. Research on occupant positioning at UMTRI led to the development of a new ATD positioning procedure that places the ATDs at positions more representative of the driving positions of people who match the ATD's body dimensions. This paper presents a revised version of the UMTRI ATD positioning procedure. The changes to the procedure improve the ease and repeatability of ATD positioning while preserving the accuracy of the resulting ATD positions with respect to the driving positions of people matching the ATD anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Head/Neck Impact Responses for Helmeted and Unhelmeted Motorcyclists

1981-10-01
811029
The purpose of this study was to assess, by use of computer simulations, the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in reducing head and neck injuries in motorcyclist impacts. The computer model used was the MVMA Two-Dimensional Crash Victim Simulator. The study investigated a wide variety of impact conditions in order to establish a broad overall view of the effectiveness of helmets. It was found that helmet use invariably reduces dynamic responses which have a role in producing head injury and, in addition, almost always reduces the severity of neck response as well. For no configuration or condition does the helmet greatly increase the likelihood of neck injury. Thus, these simulations of a wide spectrum of motorcyclist impacts provide further evidence that helmet use significantly reduces the likelihood and severity of both head and neck injuries. This study was supported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the ASPECT Manikin

1999-03-01
1999-01-0963
The primary objective of the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program was to develop a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point manikin. The new ASPECT manikin builds on the long-term success of the H-point manikin while adding new measurement capability and improved ease of use. The ASPECT manikin features an articulated torso linkage to measure lumbar support prominence; new contours based on human subject data; a new weighting scheme; lightweight, supplemental thigh, leg, and shoe segments; and a simpler, user-friendly installation procedure. This paper describes the new manikin in detail, including the rationale and motivation for the design features. The ASPECT manikin maintains continuity with the current SAE J826 H-point manikin in important areas while providing substantial new measurement capability.
Technical Paper

Human Subject Testing in Support of ASPECT

1999-03-01
1999-01-0960
The ASPECT program, conducted to develop new Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools, used posture and position data from hundreds of vehicle occupants to develop a new physical manikin and related tools. Analysis of the relationships between anthropometric measures established the criteria for subject selection. The study goals and the characteristics of the data collected determined the sampling approach and number of subjects tested in each study. Testing was conducted in both vehicle and laboratory vehicle mockups. This paper describes the subject sampling strategies, anthropometric issues, and general data collection methods used for the program's eight posture studies.
Technical Paper

ASPECT Manikin Applications and Measurements for Design, Audit, and Benchmarking

1999-03-01
1999-01-0965
The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) manikin provides new capabilities for vehicle and seat measurement while maintaining continuity with previous practices. This paper describes how the manikin is used in the development of new designs, the audit verification of build, and in benchmarking competitive vehicles and seats. The measurement procedures are discussed in detail, along with the seat and package dimensions that are associated with the new tool.
Technical Paper

Investigating Driver Headroom Perception: Methods and Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0893
Recent changes in impact protection requirements have led to increased padding on vehicle interior surfaces. In the areas near the driver's head, thicker padding can reduce the available headspace and may degrade the driver's perception of headroom. A laboratory study of driver headroom perception was conducted to investigate the effects of physical headroom on the subjective evaluation of headroom. Ninety-nine men and women rated a range of headroom conditions in a reconfigurable vehicle mockup. Unexpectedly, driver stature was not closely related to the perception of headroom. Short-statured drivers were as likely as tall drivers to rate a low roof condition as unacceptable. Statistical models were developed from the data to predict the effects of changes in headroom on the percentage of drivers rating the head-room at a specified criterion level.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Driver Eye Position Model

1998-02-23
980012
SAE Recommended Practice J941 describes the eyellipse, a statistical representation of driver eye locations, that is used to facilitate design decisions regarding vehicle interiors, including the display locations, mirror placement, and headspace requirements. Eye-position data collected recently at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) suggest that the SAE J941 practice could be improved. SAE J941 currently uses the SgRP location, seat-track travel (L23), and design seatback angle (L40) as inputs to the eyellipse model. However, UMTRI data show that the characteristics of empirical eyellipses can be predicted more accurately using seat height, steering-wheel position, and seat-track rise. A series of UMTRI studies collected eye-location data from groups of 50 to 120 drivers with statures spanning over 97 percent of the U.S. population. Data were collected in thirty-three vehicles that represent a wide range of vehicle geometry.
Technical Paper

An Improved Seating Accommodation Model with Application to Different User Populations

1998-02-23
980651
A new approach to driver seat-position modeling is presented. The equations of the Seating Accommodation Model (SAM) separately predict parameters of the distributions of male and female fore/aft seat position in a given vehicle. These distributions are used together to predict specific percentiles of the combined male-and-female seat-position distribution. The effects of vehicle parameters-seat height, steering-wheel-to-accelerator pedal distance, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type-are reflected in the prediction of mean seat position. The mean and standard deviation of driver population stature are included in the prediction for the mean and standard deviation of the seat-position distribution, respectively. SAM represents a new, more flexible approach to predicting fore/aft seat-position distributions for any driver population in passenger vehicles. Model performance is good, even at percentiles in the tails of the distribution.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Airbag-Aggressivity Predictors in Relation to Forearm Fractures

1998-02-23
980856
Four unembalmed human cadavers were used in eight direct-forearm-airbag-interaction static deployments to assess the relative aggressivity of two different airbag modules. Instrumentation of the forearm bones included triaxial accelerometry, crack detection gages, and film targets. The forearm-fracture predictors, peak and average distal forearm speed (PDFS and ADFS), were evaluated and compared to the incidence of transverse, oblique, and wedge fractures of the radius and ulna. Internal-airbag pressure and axial column loads were also measured. The results of this study support the use of PDFS or ADFS for the prediction of airbag-induced upper-extremity fractures. The results also suggest that there is no direct relationship between internal-airbag pressure and forearm fracture. The less-aggressive system (LAS) examined in this study produced half the number of forearm fracture as the more-aggressive system (MAS), yet exhibited a more aggressive internal-pressure performance.
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