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Technical Paper

Blood Flow and Fluid-Structure Interactions in the Human Aorta During Traumatic Rupture Conditions

Traumatic aortic rupture (TAR) accounts for a significant mortality in automobile crashes. A numerical method by means of a mesh-based code coupling is employed to elucidate the injury mechanism of TAR. The aorta is modeled as a single-layered thick wall composed of two families of collagen fibers using an anisotropic strain energy function with consideration of viscoelasticity. A set of constitutive parameters is identified from experimental data of the human aorta, providing strict local convexity. An in vitro aorta model reconstructed from the Visible Human dataset is applied to the pulsatile blood flow to establish the references of mechanical quantities for physiological conditions. A series of simulations is performed using the parameterized impact pulses obtained from frontal sled tests.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Impact Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests: Skeletal Deformation Patterns Under Seat Belt Loading

This study evaluated the response of restrained post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in 40 km/h frontal sled tests. Eight male PMHS were restrained on a rigid planar seat by a custom 3-point shoulder and lap belt. A video motion tracking system measured three-dimensional trajectories of multiple skeletal sites on the torso allowing quantification of ribcage deformation. Anterior and superior displacement of the lower ribcage may have contributed to sternal fractures occurring early in the event, at displacement levels below those typically considered injurious, suggesting that fracture risk is not fully described by traditional definitions of chest deformation. The methodology presented here produced novel kinematic data that will be useful in developing biofidelic human models.
Technical Paper

Pediatric Thoracoabdominal Biomechanics

No experimental data exist quantifying the force-deformation behavior of the pediatric chest when subjected to non-impact, dynamic loading from a diagonal belt or a distributed loading surface. Kent et al., (2006) previously published juvenile abdominal response data collected using a porcine model. This paper reports on a series of experiments on a 7-year-old pediatric post-mortem human subject (PMHS) undertaken to guide the scaling of existing adult thoracic response data for application to the child and to assess the validity of the porcine abdominal model. The pediatric PMHS exhibited abdominal response similar to the swine, including the degree of rate sensitivity. The upper abdomen of the PMHS was slightly stiffer than the porcine behavior, while the lower abdomen of the PMHS fit within the porcine corridor. Scaling of adult thoracic response data using any of four published techniques did not successfully predict the pediatric behavior.
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

Finite Element Analysis of Hard and Soft Tissue Contributions to Thoracic Response: Sensitivity Analysis of Fluctuations in Boundary Conditions

Thoracic trauma is the principle causative factor in 30% of road traffic deaths. Researchers have developed force-deflection corridors of the thorax for various loading conditions in order to elucidate injury mechanisms and to validate the mechanical response of ATDs and numerical human models. A corridor, rather than a single response characteristic, results from the variability inherent in biological experimentation. This response variability is caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors are associated with individual differences among human subjects, e.g., the differences in material properties and in body geometry. The extrinsic sources of variability include fluctuations in the loading and supporting conditions in experimental tests.
Technical Paper

Structural and Material Changes in the Aging Thorax and Their Role in Crash Protection for Older Occupants

The human body undergoes a variety of changes as it ages through adulthood. These include both morphological (structural) changes (e.g., increased thoracic kyphosis) and material changes (e.g., osteoporosis). The purpose of this study is to evaluate structural changes that occur in the aging bony thorax and to assess the importance of these changes relative to the well-established material changes. The study involved two primary components. First, full-thorax computed tomography (CT) scans of 161 patients, age 18 to 89 years, were analyzed to quantify the angle of the ribs in the sagittal plane. A significant association between the angle of the ribs and age was identified, with the ribs becoming more perpendicular to the spine as age increased (0.08 degrees/year, p=0.012). Next, a finite element model of the thorax was used to evaluate the importance of this rib angle change relative to other factors associated with aging.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: Kinematics and Injury of PMHS Restrained by a Standard 3-Point Belt in Frontal Crashes

Very little experimental research has focused on the kinematics, dynamics, and injuries of rear-seated occupants. This study seeks to develop a baseline response for rear-seated post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) in frontal crashes. Three PMHS sled tests were performed in a sled buck designed to represent the interior rear-seat compartment of a contemporary midsized sedan. All occupants were positioned in the right-rear passenger seat and subjected to simulated frontal crashes with an impact speed of 48 km/h. The subjects were restrained by a standard, rear seat, 3-point seat belt. The response of each subject was evaluated in terms of whole-body kinematics, dynamics, and injury. All the PMHS experienced excessive forward translation of the pelvis resulting in a backward rotation of the torso at the time of maximum forward excursion.
Technical Paper

A Method for the Experimental Investigation of Acceleration as a Mechanism of Aortic Injury

Rupture of the thoracic aorta is a leading cause of rapid fatality in automobile crashes, but the mechanism of this injury remains unknown. One commonly postulated mechanism is a differential motion of the aortic arch relative to the heart and its neighboring vessels caused by high-magnitude acceleration of the thorax. Recent Indy car crash data show, however, that humans can withstand accelerations exceeding 100 g with no injury to the thoracic vasculature. This paper presents a method to investigate the efficacy of acceleration as an aortic injury mechanism using high-acceleration, low chest deflection sled tests. The repeatability and predictability of the test method was evaluated using two Hybrid III tests and two tests with cadaver subjects. The cadaver tests resulted in sustained mid-spine accelerations of up to 80 g for 20 ms with peak mid-spine accelerations of up to 175 g, and maximum chest deflections lower than 11% of the total chest depth.
Technical Paper

A Normalization Technique for Developing Corridors from Individual Subject Responses

This paper presents a technique for developing corridors from individual subject responses contained in experimental biomechanical data sets. Force-deflection response is used as an illustrative example. The technique begins with a method for averaging human subject force-deflection responses in which curve shape characteristics are maintained and discontinuities are avoided. Individual responses sharing a common characteristic shape are averaged based upon normalized deflection values. The normalized average response is then scaled to represent the given data set using the mean peak deflection value associated with the set of experimental data. Finally, a procedure for developing a corridor around the scaled normalized average response is presented using standard deviation calculations for both force and deflection.
Technical Paper

Parametric study of side impact thoracic injury criteria using the MADYMO human body model

This paper presents a computational study of the effects of three parameters on the resulting thoracic injury criteria in side impacts. The parameters evaluated are a) door velocity-time (V-t) profile, b) door interior padding modulus, and c) initial door-to-occupant offset. Regardless of pad modulus, initial offset, or the criterion used to assess injury, higher peak door velocity is shown to correspond with more severe injury. Injury outcome is not, however, found to be sensitive to the door velocity at the time of first occupant contact. A larger initial offset generally is found to result in lower injury, even when the larger offset results in a higher door velocity at occupant contact, because the increased offset results in contact later in the door V-t profile - closer to the point at which the door velocity begins to decrease. Cases of contradictory injury criteria trends are identified, particularly in response to changes in the pad modulus.
Technical Paper

Displacement Measurements in the Hybrid III Chest

This paper presents an analysis of the displacement measurement of the Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy chest in quasistatic and dynamic loading environments. In this dummy, the sternal chest deformation is typically characterized using a sliding chest potentiometer, originally designed to measure inward deflection in the central axis of the dummy chest. Loading environments that include other modes of deformation, such as lateral translations or rotations, can create a displacement vector that is not aligned with this sensitive axis. To demonstrate this, the dummy chest was loaded quasistatically and dynamically in a series of tests. A string potentiometer array, with the capability to monitor additional deflection modes, was used to supplement the measurement of the chest slider.