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Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Thoracic Injury Criterion

In an effort to better understand thoracic trauma in frontal impacts, seventy-one frontal impact sled tests were conducted using post-mortem human subjects in the driver's position. Various contemporary automotive restraint systems were used in these tests. The post-mortem subjects were instrumented with accelerometers and chest bands to characterize their mechanical response during the impact. The resulting injury from the impact was determined through radiography and detailed autopsy and its severity was coded according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale. The measured mechanical responses were analyzed using statistical procedures. In particular, linear logistic regression was used to develop models which associate the measured mechanical parameters to the observed thoracic injury response. Univariate and multivariate models were developed taking into consideration potential confounders and effect modifiers.
Technical Paper

Analytical Investigation of Driver Thoracic Response to Out of Position Airbag Deployment

A finite element model of the human thorax was merged with a rigid body finite element implementation of the Hybrid III dummy (after removal of the Hybrid III thorax) and the combined model is used in simulations of an out of position driver during airbag deployment. Parameters related to injury, such as A-P thorax deformation, Viscous Criterion, rib stress distribution and strain in the thoracic contents are used to quantify the thoracic injury response. Initial driver position is varied to examine the relationship between distance from the airbag module and thoracic injury risk. The potential for injury mitigation through modulation of airbag inflation after initiation is also investigated. The utility of the combined model as an effective tool for the analysis of occupant kinematics and dynamics, examination of injury mechanisms, and optimization of restraint system design parameters is demonstrated.
Technical Paper

Three-Year-Old Child Out-Of-Position Side Airbag Studies

A series of twenty-nine tests was completed by conducting static deployment of side airbag systems to an out-of-position Hybrid III three-year-old dummy. Mock-ups (bucks) of vehicle occupant compartments were constructed. The dummy was placed in one of four possible positions for both door- and seat-mounted side airbag systems. When data from each type of position test were combined for the various injury parameters it was noted that the head injury criteria (HIC) were maximized for head and neck tests, and the chest injury parameters were maximized for the chest tests. For the neck injury parameters, however, all of the test positions produced high values for at least one of the parameters. The study concluded the following. Static out-of- position child dummy side airbag testing is one possible method to evaluate the potential for injury for worst-case scenarios. The outcome of these tests are sensitive to preposition and various measurements should be made to reproduce the tests.
Technical Paper

Response Corridors of Human Surrogates in Lateral Impacts

Thirty-six lateral PMHS sled tests were performed at 6.7 or 8.9 m/s, under rigid or padded loading conditions and with a variety of impact surface geometries. Forces between the simulated vehicle environment and the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis, as well as torso deflections and various accelerations were measured and scaled to the average male. Mean ± one standard deviation corridors were calculated. PMHS response corridors for force, torso deflection and acceleration were developed. The offset test condition, when partnered with the flat wall condition, forms the basis of a robust battery of tests that can be used to evaluate how an ATD interacts with its environment, and how body regions within the ATD interact with each other.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Axial Preload and Dorsiflexion on the Tolerance of the Ankle/Subtalar Joint to Dynamic Inversion and Eversion

Forced inversion or eversion of the foot is considered a common mechanism of ankle injury in vehicle crashes. The objective of this study was to model empirically the injury tolerance of the human ankle/subtalar joint to dynamic inversion and eversion under three different loading conditions: neutral flexion with no axial preload, neutral flexion with 2 kN axial preload, and 30° of dorsiflexion with 2 kN axial preload. 44 tests were conducted on cadaveric lower limbs, with injury occurring in 30 specimens. Common injuries included malleolar fractures, osteochondral fractures of the talus, fractures of the lateral process of the talus, and collateral ligament tears, depending on the loading configuration. The time of injury was determined either by the peak ankle moment or by a sudden drop in ankle moment that was accompanied by a burst of acoustic emission. Characteristic moment-angle curves to injury were generated for each loading configuration.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Biofidelity Ranking System for Anthropomorphic Test Devices

A new biofidelity assessment system is being developed and applied to three side impact dummies: the WorldSID-α, the ES-2 and the SID-HIII. This system quantifies (1) the ability of a dummy to load a vehicle as a cadaver does, “External Biofidelity,” and (2) the ability of a dummy to replicate those cadaver responses that best predict injury potential, “Internal Biofidelity.” The ranking system uses cadaver and dummy responses from head drop tests, thorax and shoulder pendulum tests, and whole body sled tests. Each test condition is assigned a weight factor based on the number of human subjects tested to form the biomechanical response corridor and how well the biofidelity tests represent FMVSS 214, side NCAP (SNCAP) and FMVSS 201 Pole crash environments.
Technical Paper

On the Development of the SIMon Finite Element Head Model

The SIMon (Simulated Injury Monitor) software package is being developed to advance the interpretation of injury mechanisms based on kinematic and kinetic data measured in the advanced anthropomorphic test dummy (AATD) and applying the measured dummy response to the human mathematical models imbedded in SIMon. The human finite element head model (FEHM) within the SIMon environment is presented in this paper. Three-dimensional head kinematic data in the form of either a nine accelerometer array or three linear CG head accelerations combined with three angular velocities serves as an input to the model. Three injury metrics are calculated: Cumulative strain damage measure (CSDM) – a correlate for diffuse axonal injury (DAI); Dilatational damage measure (DDM) – to estimate the potential for contusions; and Relative motion damage measure (RMDM) – a correlate for acute subdural hematoma (ASDH).
Technical Paper

Development of Side Impact Thoracic Injury Criteria and Their Application to the Modified ES-2 Dummy with Rib Extensions (ES-2re)

Forty-two side impact cadaver sled tests were conducted at 24 and 32 km/h impact speeds into rigid and padded walls. The post-mortem human subjects were instrumented with accelerometers on the ribs and spine and chest bands around the thorax and abdomen to characterize their mechanical response during the impact. Load cells at the wall measured the impact force at the level of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and lower extremities. The resulting injuries were determined through detailed autopsy and radiography. Rib fractures with or without associated hemo/pneumo thorax or flail chest were the most common injury with severity ranging from AIS=0 to 5. Full and half thorax deflections were computed from the chest band data. The cadaver test data was analyzed using ANOVA and logistic regression. The age of the subject at the time of death had influence on injury outcome while gender and mass of the subject had little or no influence on injury outcome.
Technical Paper

Mechanisms and Factors Involved in Hip Injuries During Frontal Crashes

This study was conducted to collect data and gain insights relative to the mechanisms and factors involved in hip injuries during frontal crashes and to study the tolerance of hip injuries from this type of loading. Unembalmed human cadavers were seated on a standard automotive seat (reinforced) and subjected to knee impact test to each lower extremity. Varying combinations of flexion and adduction/abduction were used for initial alignment conditions and pre-positioning. Accelerometers were fixed to the iliac wings and twelfth thoracic vertebral spinous process. A 23.4-kg padded pendulum impacted the knee at velocities ranging from 4.3 to 7.6 m/s. The impacting direction was along the anteroposterior axis, i.e., the global X-axis, in the body-fixed coordinate system. A load cell on the front of the pendulum recorded the impact force. Peak impact forces ranged from 2,450 to 10,950 N. The rate of loading ranged from 123 to 7,664 N/msec. The impulse values ranged from 12.4 to 31.9 Nsec.
Technical Paper


Axial loading of the foot/ankle complex is an important injury mechanism in vehicular trauma that is responsible for severe injuries such as calcaneal and tibia pilon fractures. Axial loading may be applied to the leg externally, by the toepan and/or pedals, as well as internally, by active muscle tension applied through the Achilles tendon during pre-impact bracing. In order to evaluate the effect of active muscle tension on the injury tolerance of the foot/ankle complex, blunt axial impact tests were performed on 44 isolated lower legs with and without experimentally simulated Achilles tension. The primary fracture mode was calcaneal fracture in both groups, but tibia pilon fractures occurred more frequently with the addition of Achilles tension. Acoustic emission demonstrated that fracture initiated at the time of peak local axial force.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of a Compliant Bumper System

An ordinary rigid bumper system and a compliant bumper system for pedestrian protection developed by the NHTSA, US Department of Transportation, were compared in an experimental study of leg injuries in car-pedestrian accidents. Human leg specimens were struck in 20 experiments with a production car front using the two bumper types. Impacts were made with an ordinary front configuration with the bumpers at the 45 cm level and a 12.5 cm lower front configuration with the bumpers at the 32.5 cm level. The impact velocity was 30-32 km/h. Serious leg injuries were noted with both front configurations and bumper types. The compliant bumper seemed to cause less serious injuries than the rigid one, and the lower front configuration seemed to cause less serious injuries than the ordinary one. A lower bumper level than today's standard and a compliant bumper type is recommended in combination to reduce the risk of serious leg injuries in car-pedestrian accidents.
Technical Paper

On the Development of Survival Criteria for Rate Sensitive Materials

The evaluation and mitigation of injury in the automotive crash environment is often achieved by monitoring and limiting the magnitude of forces and/or moments being applied to or transmitted through dummy structures representing particular portions of the human anatomy. Examples of body areas where this is the practice are the neck, the thoracic and lumbar spine, the pelvis, as well as the upper and lower extremities. Implicit within this process is the assumption that the observed forces are directly proportional to local failure metrics such as stress and/or strain. However, a variety of experimental efforts have demonstrated that many of these anatomical structures exhibit, to various degrees, viscoelastic behavior and time or rate dependent failure properties. This work develops a methodology that generalizes the results of various experimental observations.
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

Interaction of Human Cadaver and Hybrid III Subjects with a Steering Assembly

Nineteen sled impact tests were conducted simulating a frontal collision exposure for an unrestrained driver. The deceleration sled buck configuration utilized the passenger compartment of a late model compact passenger vehicle, a rigid driver's seat, and a custom fabricated energy-absorbing steering column and wheel assembly. Sled impact velocities ranged from 24.1 to 42.6 km/hr. The purpose of the study was to investigate the kinematic and kinetic interaction of the driver and the energy-absorbing steering assembly and their relationship to the thoracic/abdominal injuries produced. The similarities and differences between human cadaver and anthropomorphic dummy subjects were quantified.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Injury Prediction via Digital Convolution Theory

A dynamic characterization of the human thorax, in the form of a digital impulsive response signature, has been obtained which links the acceleration response of the struck side with the far side of the thorax under side impact conditions. This dynamic characterization was obtained by a unique combination of digital convolution theory, least squares approximation techniques, and a digital set of cadaver impact data. It has proven itself accurate in predicting the maximum relative acceleration, velocity and displacement between the left and the right lateral aspects of the thorax for a variety of impact conditions including lateral pendulum impacts, lateral rigid walls impacts at 15 and 20 mph and lateral impacts into padded walls at 20 mph.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Brain Injury Measures from Head Motion Parameters

An analysis of experimental head impact data was preformed to demonstrate: (1) that kinematic waveforms contain information relating to head and brain injuries; and (2) that analysis techniques exist which can properly exploit this information to create injury predictive functions. An experimental data base consisting of 26 monkey head impacts was utilized. Translational and rotational acceleration time histories of the head were available. Parameters computed from these kinematic waveforms were the input variables to an analysis technique. The output, or modeled, variable was the experimentalist's evaluation of the severity of injuries. The results of the analysis are presented and it is concluded that it is possible to accurately model head and brain injury assessments from strictly head motion parameters.
Technical Paper

Ankle Joint Injury Mechanism for Adults in Frontal Automotive Impact

Accident cases are examined to determine the injury mechanism for foot/ankle moderate and greater injuries in vehicle crashes. The authors examine 480 in-depth cases from the National Accident Sampling System for the years 1979 through 1987. An injury mechanism - a description of how the foot/ankle physically interacted with the interior of the vehicle - is assigned to each of the injured occupants. For the accidents in which the 480 occupants were injured, the more prominent types of vehicle collisions are characterized.
Technical Paper

RAID - An Investigative Tool to Study Air Bag/Upper Extremity Interactions

A study of frontal collisions using the NASS data base showed that there were four times as many arm injuries to belt restrained drivers who had an air bag deploy than for the drivers who were simply belted. By far, the distal forearm/hand was the most commonly injured region. Hard copy review identified two modes of arm injury related to the deploying air bag: 1) The arm is directly contacted by the air bag module and/or flap cover, and 2) The arm is flung away and contacts an interior car surface. Based on the field studies, a mechanical device called the Research Arm Injury Device (RAID) was fabricated to assess the aggressivity of air bags from different manufacturers. Results from static air bag deployment tests with the RAID suggested that the RAID was able to clearly distinguish between the aggressive and non-aggressive air bags. Maximum moments ranging between 100 Nm and 650 Nm, and hand fling velocity ranging between 30 and 120 km/h were measured on the RAID in these tests.
Technical Paper

A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of the Human Brain Under Combined Rotational and Translational Accelerations

Finite element modelling has been used to study the evolution of strain in a model of the human brain under impulsive acceleration loadings. A cumulative damage measure, based on the calculation of the volume fraction of the brain that has experienced a specific level of stretch, is used as a possible predictor for deformation-related brain injury. The measure is based on the maximum principal strain calculated from an objective strain tensor that is obtained by integration of the rate of deformation gradient with appropriate accounting for large rotations. This measure is used here to evaluate the relative effects of rotational and translational accelerations, in both the sagittal and coronal planes, on the development of strain damage in the brain. A new technique for the computational treatment of the brain-dura interface is suggested and used to alleviate the difficulties in the explicit representation of the cerebrospinal fluid layer existing between the two solid materials.
Technical Paper

Computational Analysis of Head Impact Response Under Car Crash Loadings

Computational simulations are conducted for several head impact scenarios using a three dimensional finite element model of the human brain in conjunction with accelerometer data taken from crash test data. Accelerometer data from a 3-2-2-2 nine accelerometer array, located in the test dummy headpart, is processed to extract both rotational and translational velocity components at the headpart center of gravity with respect to inertial coordinates. The resulting generalized six degree-of-freedom description of headpart kinematics includes effects of all head impacts with the interior structure, and is used to characterize the momentum field and inertial loads which would be experienced by soft brain tissue under impact conditions. These kinematic descriptions are then applied to a finite element model of the brain to replicate dynamic loading for actual crash test conditions, and responses pertinent to brain injury are analyzed.