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Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of the Pediatric Abdomen, Part 1: Development of an Experimental Model and Quantification of Structural Response to Dynamic Belt Loading

The abdomen is the second most commonly injured region in children using adult seat belts, but engineers are limited in their efforts to design systems that mitigate these injuries since no current pediatric dummy has the capability to quantify injury risk from loading to the abdomen. This paper develops a porcine (sus scrofa domestica) model of the 6-year-old human's abdomen, and then defines the biomechanical response of this abdominal model. First, a detailed abdominal necropsy study was undertaken, which involved collecting a series of anthropometric measurements and organ masses on 25 swine, ranging in age from 14 to 429 days (4-101 kg mass). These were then compared to the corresponding human quantities to identify the best porcine representation of a 6-year-old human's abdomen. This was determined to be a pig of age 77 days, and whole-body mass of 21.4 kg.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Considerations for Assessing Interactions of Children and Small Occupants with Inflatable Seat Belts

NHTSA estimates that more than half of the lives saved (168,524) in car crashes between 1960 and 2002 were due to the use of seat belts. Nevertheless, while seat belts are vital to occupant crash protection, safety researchers continue efforts to further enhance the capability of seat belts in reducing injury and fatality risk in automotive crashes. Examples of seat belt design concepts that have been investigated by researchers include inflatable, 4-point, and reverse geometry seat belts. In 2011, Ford Motor Company introduced the first rear seat inflatable seat belts into production vehicles. A series of tests with child and small female-sized Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATD) and small, elderly female Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) was performed to evaluate interactions of prototype inflatable seat belts with the chest, upper torso, head and neck of children and small occupants, from infants to young adolescents.
Journal Article

Finite-Element-Based Transfer Equations: Post-Mortem Human Subjects versus Hybrid III Test Dummy in Blunt Impact

In the present study, transfer equations relating the responses of post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) to the mid-sized male Hybrid III test dummy (HIII50) under matched, or nearly-identical, loading conditions were developed via math modeling. Specifically, validated finite element (FE) models of the Ford Human Body Model (FHBM) and the HIII50 were used to generate sets of matched cases (i.e., 256 frontal impact cases involving different impact speeds, severities, and PMHS age). Regression analyses were subsequently performed on the resulting age-dependent FHBM- and HIII50-based responses. This approach was conducted for five different body regions: head, neck, chest, femur, and tibia. All of the resulting regression equations, correlation coefficients, and response ratios (PHMS relative to HIII50) were consistent with the limited available test-based results.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Assessment of a Rear-Seat Inflatable Seatbelt in Frontal Impacts

This study evaluated the biomechanical performance of a rear-seat inflatable seatbelt system and compared it to that of a 3-point seatbelt system, which has a long history of good real-world performance. Frontal-impact sled tests were conducted with Hybrid III anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and with post mortem human subjects (PMHS) using both restraint systems and a generic rear-seat configuration. Results from these tests demonstrated: a) reduction in forward head excursion with the inflatable seatbelt system when compared to that of a 3-point seatbelt and; b) a reduction in ATD and PMHS peak chest deflections and the number of PMHS rib fractures with the inflatable seatbelt system and c) a reduction in PMHS cervical-spine injuries, due to the interaction of the chin with the inflated shoulder belt. These results suggest that an inflatable seatbelt system will offer additional benefits to some occupants in the rear seats.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of Age-Dependent FE Human Models of a Mid-Sized Male Thorax

The increasing number of people over 65 years old (YO) is an important research topic in the area of impact biomechanics, and finite element (FE) modeling can provide valuable support for related research. There were three objectives of this study: (1) Estimation of the representative age of the previously documented Ford Human Body Model (FHBM)~an FE model which approximates the geometry and mass of a mid-sized male, (2) Development of FE models representing two additional ages, and (3) Validation of the resulting three models to the extent possible with respect to available physical tests. Specifically, the geometry of the model was compared to published data relating rib angles to age, and the mechanical properties of different simulated tissues were compared to a number of published aging functions. The FHBM was determined to represent a 53-59 YO mid-sized male. The aforementioned aging functions were used to develop FE models representing two additional ages: 35 and 75 YO.
Technical Paper

Comparison of PMHS, WorldSID, and THOR-NT Responses in Simulated Far Side Impact

Injury to the far side occupant has been demonstrated as a significant portion of the total trauma in side impacts. The objective of the study was to determine the response of PMHS in far side impact configurations, with and without generic countermeasures, and compare responses to the WorldSID and THOR dummies. A far side impact buck was designed for a sled test system that included a center console and three-point belt system. The buck allowed for additional options of generic countermeasures including shoulder or thorax plates or an inboard shoulder belt. The entire buck could be mounted on the sled in either a 90-degree (3-o'clock PDOF) or a 60-degree (2-o'clock PDOF) orientation. A total of 18 tests on six PMHS were done to characterize the far side impact environment at both low (11 km/h) and high (30 km/h) velocities. WorldSID and THOR-NT tests were completed in the same configurations to conduct matched-pair comparisons.
Technical Paper

Analysis and Evaluation of the Biofidelity of the Human Body Finite Element Model in Lateral Impact Simulations According to ISO-TR9790 Procedures

The biofidelity of the Ford Motor Company human body finite element (FE) model in side impact simulations was analyzed and evaluated following the procedures outlined in ISO technical report TR9790. This FE model, representing a 50th percentile adult male, was used to simulate the biomechanical impact tests described in ISO-TR9790. These laboratory tests were considered as suitable for assessing the lateral impact biofidelity of the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis of crash test dummies, subcomponent test devices, and math models that are used to represent a 50th percentile adult male. The simulated impact responses of the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis of the FE model were compared with the PMHS (Post Mortem Human Subject) data upon which the response requirements for side impact surrogates was based. An overall biofidelity rating of the human body FE model was determined using the ISO-TR9790 rating method.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Response of Belted PMHS, the Hybrid III, and the THOR-NT Mid-Sized Male Surrogates in Low-Speed, Frontal Crashes

Injury to the thorax is the predominant cause of fatalities in crash-involved automobile occupants over the age of 65, and many elderly-occupant automobile fatalities occur in crashes below compliance or consumer information test speeds. As the average age of the automotive population increases, thoracic injury prevention in lower severity crashes will play an increasingly important role in automobile safety. This study presents the results of a series of sled tests to investigate the thoracic deformation, kinematic, and injury responses of belted post-mortem human surrogates (PMHS, average age 44 years) and frontal anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) in low-speed frontal crashes. Nine 29 km/h (three PMHS, three Hybrid III 50th% male ATD, three THOR-NT ATD) and three 38 km/h (one PMHS, two Hybrid III) frontal sled tests were performed to simulate an occupant seated in the right front passenger seat of a mid-sized sedan restrained with a standard (not force-limited) 3-point seatbelt.
Technical Paper

Development and Evaluation of a Proposed Neck Shield for the 5th Percentile Hybrid III Female Dummy

Frontal airbag interaction with the head and neck of the Hybrid III family of dummies may involve a nonbiofidelic interaction. Researchers have found that the deploying airbag may become entrapped in the hollow cavity behind the dummy chin. This study evaluated a prototype neck shield design, the Flap Neck Shield, for biofidelic response and the ability to prevent airbag entrapment in the chin/jaw cavity. Neck pendulum calibration tests were conducted for biofidelity evaluation. Static and dynamic airbag deployments were conducted to evaluate neck shield performance. Tests showed that the Flap Neck Shield behaved in a biofidelic manner with neck loads and head motion within established biofidelic limits. The Flap Neck Shield did not alter the neck loads during static or dynamic airbag interactions, but it did consistently prevent the airbag from penetrating the chin/jaw cavity.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Analysis of Knee Impact in Frontal Collisions through Finite Element Simulations with a Full Human Body Model

This study applies a detailed finite element model of the human body to simulate occupant knee impacts experienced in vehicular frontal crashes. The human body model includes detailed anatomical features of the head, neck, chest, thoracic and lumbar spine, abdomen, and lower and upper extremities. The material properties used in the model for each anatomic part of the human body were obtained from test data reported in the literature. The total human body model used in the current study has been previously validated in frontal and side impacts. Several cadaver knee impact tests representing occupants in a frontal impact condition were simulated using the previously validated human body model. Model impact responses in terms of force-time and acceleration-time histories were compared with test results. In addition, stress distributions of the patella, femur, and pelvis were reported for the simulated test conditions.
Technical Paper

Impact Response and Biomechanical Analysis of the Knee-Thigh-Hip Complex in Frontal Impacts with a Full Human Body Finite Element Model

Changes in vehicle safety design technology and the increasing use of seat-belts and airbag restraint systems have gradually changed the relative proportion of lower extremity injuries. These changes in real world injuries have renewed interest and the need of further investigation into occupant injury mechanisms and biomechanical impact responses of the knee-thigh-hip complex during frontal impacts. This study uses a detailed finite element model of the human body to simulate occupant knee impacts experienced in frontal crashes. The human body model includes detailed anatomical features of the head, neck, shoulder, chest, thoracic and lumbar spine, abdomen, pelvis, and lower and upper extremities. The material properties used in the model for each anatomic part of the human body were obtained from test data reported in the literature. The human body model used in the current study has been previously validated in frontal and side impacts.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of the Pediatric Abdomen, Part 2: Injuries and Their Correlation with Engineering Parameters

This paper describes the injuries generated during dynamic belt loading to a porcine model of the 6-year-old human abdomen, and correlates injury outcomes with measurable parameters. The test fixture produced transverse, dynamic belt loading on the abdomen of 47 immediately post-mortem juvenile swine at two locations (upper/lower), with penetration magnitudes ranging from 23% – 65% of the undeformed abdominal depth, with and without muscle tensing, and over a belt penetration rate range of 2.9 m/s – 7.8 m/s. All thoracoabdominal injuries were documented in detail and then coded according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). Observed injuries ranged from AIS 1 to AIS 4. The injury distribution matched well the pattern of injuries observed in a large sample of children exposed to seatbelt loading in the field, with most of the injuries in the lower abdomen.
Technical Paper

SID-IIs Beta+-Prototype Dummy Biomechanical Responses

This paper presents the results of biomechanical testing of the SID-IIs beta+-prototype dummy by the Occupant Safety Research Partnership. The purpose of this testing was to evaluate the dummy against its previously established biomechanical response corridors for its critical body regions. The response corridors were scaled from the 50th percentile adult male corridors defined in International Standards Organization Technical Report 9790 to corridors for a 5th percentile adult female, using established International Standards Organization procedures. Tests were performed for the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, abdomen and pelvis regions of the dummy. Testing included drop tests, pendulum impacts and sled tests. The biofidelity of the SID-IIs beta+-prototype was calculated using a weighted biomechanical test response procedure developed by the International Standards Organization.
Technical Paper

Investigation into the Noise Associated with Airbag Deployment: Part II - Injury Risk Study Using a Mathematical Model of the Human Ear

Airbag deployments are associated with loud noise of short duration, called impulse noise. Research performed in the late 1960's and early 1970's established several criteria for assessment of the risk of impulse noise-induced hearing loss for military weapons and general exposures. These criteria were modified for airbag noise in the early 1970's, but field accident statistics and experimental results with human volunteers exposed to airbags do not seem to agree with the criteria. More recent research on impulse noise from weapons firing, in particular that of Price & Kalb of the US Army Research Laboratory, has led to development of a mathematical model of the ear. This model incorporates transfer functions which alter the incident sound pressure through various parts of the ear. It also calculates a function, called the “hazard”, that is a measure of mechanical fatigue of the hair cells in the inner ear.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Properties of the Shoulder Ligaments under Dynamic Loading

Thirty-three fresh human cadaver shoulders were harvested and bone-ligament-bone specimens of acromioclavicular joint, coracoclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint were obtained. A test fixture and clamps specifically designed for this ligament study and a high-speed Instron machine were used. One quasi-static rate (nominally 0.1 %/sec) and two high rates (nominally, high rate 1 = 40,000 %/sec and high rate 2 = 15,000 %/sec) were used in this study. In the acromioclavicular joint tests, ligament failure was the most common failure mode. Bone fractures occurred most often at the clavicle rather than acromion. In the coracoclavicular joint tests, the majority of specimens failed at the ligament and bone fractures occurred at the coracoid. In the sternoclavicular joint tests, the specimen failed at the bone in most cases. In the acromioclavicular joint and coracoclavicular joint tests, high rate 2 tests and quasi-static tests had more bone fracture cases than high rate 1 tests.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Standard for Measurement of Impulse Noise Associated With Automotive Inflatable Devices

The SAE Recommended Practice for measuring impulse noise from airbags, SAE J247, “Instrumentation for Measuring Acoustic Impulses within Vehicles”, was first published in 1971 and last affirmed in 1987. Many advances have occurred in understanding and technology since that time. Work in the automotive industry to investigate the characteristics of noise from airbag deployments has shown that large components of low frequency noise can be present when an airbag deploys in a closed vehicle. Others have shown that this low frequency noise can have a protective effect on the ear. Likewise, work for many years at the US Army Research Lab has investigated the risk of hearing loss for a human subjected to an acoustic impulse. That research led to the creation and validation of a mathematical model of the human ear, called Auditory Hazard Assessment Algorithm - Human (AHAAH).
Technical Paper

ES-2 Dummy Biomechanical Responses

This technical paper presents the results of biomechanical testing conducted on the ES-2 dummy by the Occupant Safety Research Partnership and Transport Canada. The ES-2 is a production dummy, based on the EuroSID-1 dummy, that was modified to further improve testing capabilities as recommended by users of the EuroSID-1 dummy. Biomechanical response data were obtained by completing a series of drop, pendulum, and sled tests that are outlined in the International Organization of Standardization Technical Report 9790 that describes biofidelity requirements for the midsize adult male side impact dummy. A few of the biofidelity tests were conducted on both sides of the dummy to evaluate the symmetry of its responses. Full vehicle crash tests were conducted to verify if the changes in the EuroSID-1, resulting in the ES-2 design, did improve the dummy's testing capability. In addition to the biofidelity testing, the ES-2 dummy repeatability, reproducibility and durability are discussed.
Technical Paper

Biomechanics of 4-Point Seat Belt Systems in Frontal Impacts

The biomechanical behavior of 4-point seat belt systems was investigated through MADYMO modeling, dummy tests and post mortem human subject tests. This study was conducted to assess the effect of 4-point seat belts on the risk of thoracic injury in frontal impacts, to evaluate the ability to prevent submarining under the lap belt using 4-point seat belts, and to examine whether 4-point belts may induce injuries not typically observed with 3-point seat belts. The performance of two types of 4-point seat belts was compared with that of a pretensioned, load-limited, 3-point seat belt. A 3-point belt with an extra shoulder belt that “crisscrossed” the chest (X4) appeared to add constraint to the torso and increased chest deflection and injury risk. Harness style shoulder belts (V4) loaded the body in a different biomechanical manner than 3-point and X4 belts.
Technical Paper

Abdominal Impact Response to Rigid-Bar, Seatbelt, and Airbag Loading

This study was conducted to resolve discrepancies and fill in gaps in the biomechanical impact response of the human abdomen to frontal impact loading. Three types of abdominal loading were studied: rigid-bar impacts, seatbelt loading, and close-proximity (out-of-position) airbag deployments. Eleven rigid-bar free-back tests were performed into the mid and upper abdomens of unembalmed instrumented human cadavers using nominal impact speeds of 6 and 9 m/s. Seven fixed-back rigid-bar tests were also conducted at 3, 6, and 9 m/s using one cadaver to examine the effects of body mass, spinal flexion, and repeated testing. Load-penetration corridors were developed and compared to those previously established by other researchers. Six seatbelt tests were conducted using three cadavers and a peak-loading rate of 3 m/s. The seatbelt loading tests were designed to maximize belt/abdomen interaction and were not necessarily representative of real-world crashes.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Airbag-Induced Forearm Fractures and Airbag Aggressivity

This study continued the biomechanical investigations of forearm fractures caused by direct loading of steering-wheel airbags during the early stages of deployment. Twenty-four static deployments of driver airbags were conducted into the forearms of unembalmed whole cadavers using a range of airbags, including airbags that are depowered as allowed by the new federal requirements for frontal impact testing. In general, the depowered airbags showed a reduction in incidence and severity of forearm fractures compared to the pre-depowered airbags tested. Data from these twenty-four tests were combined with results from previous studies to develop a refined empirical model for fracture occurrence based on Average Distal Forearm Speed (ADFS), and a revised value for fifty-percent probability of forearm-bone fracture of 10.5 m/s. Bone mineral content, which is directly related to forearm tolerance, was found to be linearly related to arm mass.