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Technical Paper

Sled System Requirements for the Analysis of Side Impact Thoracic Injury Criteria and Occupant Protection

This paper discusses struck-side occupant thoracic response to side-impact loading and the requirements of a sled system capable of reproducing the relevant motions of a laterally impacted vehicle. A simplified viscoelastic representation of a thorax is used to evaluate the effect of the door velocity-time profile on injury criteria and on the internal stress state of the thorax. Simulations using a prescribed door velocity-time profile (punch impact) are contrasted against simulations using a constant-velocity impact (Heidelberg-type impact). It is found that the stress distribution and magnitude within the thorax, in addition to the maximum thorax compression and viscous response, depend not only on the door-occupant closing velocity, but also on the shape of the door velocity-time profile throughout the time of contact with the occupant. A sled system capable of properly reproducing side-impact door and seat motion is described.
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.
Technical Paper

Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control Incorporating Automatic Braking

Conventional cruise control systems have been in use for many years. Their function is to maintain a preset vehicle speed thus improving the comfort for the driver during steady driving conditions. Most systems achieve this by having a small electronic control unit which monitors vehicle speed and driver interface controls and operates the throttle butterfly to control engine power. Figure 1. Various interlock features are fitted to prevent unwanted engine power increases in the event of a system failure. Cruise control is widely fitted in the North American market, but on the more crowded roads of Western Europe its use is somewhat restricted. The ability to maintain a fixed speed is of limited use when traffic conditions dictate the widely varying speeds that are commonplace in the UK and becoming more common in the rest of Western Europe and North America.
Technical Paper

Research Program to Investigate Lower Extremity Injuries

The University of Virginia is investigating the biomechanical response and the injury tolerance of the lower extremities. This paper presents the experimental and simulation work used to study the injury patterns and mechanisms of the ankle/foot complex. The simulation effort has developed a segmented lower limb and foot model for an occupant simulator program to study the interactions of the foot with intruding toepan and pedal components. The experimental procedures include static tests, pendulum impacts, and full-scale sled tests with the Advanced Anthropomorphic Test Device and human cadavers. In these tests, the response of the lower extremities is characterized with analogous dummy and cadaver instrumentation packages that include strain gauges, electrogoniometers, angular rate sensors, accelerometers, and load cells. An external apparatus is applied to the surrogate's lower extremities to simulate the effects of muscle tensing.
Technical Paper

Side Impact: Influence of Impact Conditions and Bone Mechanical Properties on Pelvic Response Using a Fracturable Pelvis Model

This study aimed at determining the influence of impact conditions and occupant mechanical properties on pelvic response in side impact. First, a fracturable pelvis model was developed and validated against dynamic tests on isolated pelvic bones and on whole cadavers. By coupling a fixed cortical bone section thickness within a single subject's pelvis and across the population with a parametric material law for the pelvic bone, this model reproduced the pelvic response and tolerance variation among individuals. Three material laws were also identified to represent fragile, medium and strong pelvic bones for the 50th percentile male. With this model, the influence of impact mass, velocity and surface shape on pelvic response was examined. Results indicated that the shape difference between four main impactors reported in the literature has little effect on the pelvic response.
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

Assessment of a Three-Point Restraint System with a Pre-tensioned Lap Belt and an Inflatable, Force-Limited Shoulder Belt

This study investigates the performance of a 3-point restraint system incorporating an inflatable shoulder belt with a nominal 2.5-kN load limiter and a non-inflatable lap belt with a pretensioner (the “Airbelt”). Frontal impacts with PMHS in a rear seat environment are presented and the Airbelt system is contrasted with an earlier 3-point system with inflatable lap and shoulder belts but no load-limiter or pretensioners, which was evaluated with human volunteers in the 1970s but not fully reported in the open literature (the “Inflataband”). Key differences between the systems include downward pelvic motion and torso recline with the Inflataband, while the pelvis moved almost horizontally and the torso pitched forward with the Airbelt. One result of these kinematic differences was an overall more biomechanically favorable restraint loading but greater maximum forward head excursion with the Airbelt.
Technical Paper

Whole-Body Response to Pure Lateral Impact

The objective of the current study was to provide a comprehensive characterization of human biomechanical response to whole-body, lateral impact. Three approximately 50th-percentile adult male PMHS were subjected to right-side pure lateral impacts at 4.3 ± 0.1 m/s using a rigid wall mounted to a rail-mounted sled. Each subject was positioned on a rigid seat and held stationary by a system of tethers until immediately prior to being impacted by the moving wall with 100 mm pelvic offset. Displacement data were obtained using an optoelectronic stereophotogrammetric system that was used to track the 3D motions of the impacting wall sled; seat sled, and reflective targets secured to the head, spine, extremities, ribcage, and shoulder complex of each subject. Kinematic data were also recorded using 3-axis accelerometer cubes secured to the head, pelvis, and spine at the levels of T1, T6, T11, and L3. Chest deformation in the transverse plane was recorded using a single chestband.
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

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

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

Thoracic Response to Shoulder Belt Loading: Investigation of Chest Stiffness and Longitudinal Strain Pattern of Ribs

Two post-mortem human subjects were subjected to dynamic, non-injurious (up to 20% chest deflection) anterior shoulder belt loading at 0.5 m/s and 0.9 m/s loading rates. The human surrogates were mounted to a stationary apparatus that supported the spine and shoulder in a configuration comparable to that achieved in a 48 km/h sled test at the time of maximum chest deformation. A hydraulically driven shoulder belt was used to load the anterior thorax which was instrumented with a load cell for measuring reaction force and uniaxial strain gages at the 4th and 8th ribs. In addition, the deformation of the chest was measured using a 16- camera Vicon 3D motion capture system. In order to investigate the chest deformation pattern and ribcage loading in greater detail, a human finite element (FE) model of the thorax was used to simulate the tests.
Technical Paper

Internal vs. External Chest Deformation Response to Shoulder Belt Loading, Part 1: Table-Top Tests

This study presents a detailed comparison of internally and externally measured chest deflections resulting from eight tests conducted on three male post mortem human subjects. A hydraulically driven shoulder belt loaded the anterior thorax under a fixed spine condition while displacement data were obtained via a high-speed 16-camera motion capture system (VICON MX™). Comparison of belt displacement and sternal displacement measured at the bone surface provided a method for quantifying effective change in superficial soft tissue depth at the mid sternum under belt loading. The relationship between the external displacement and the decrease in the effective superficial tissue depth was found to be monotonic and nonlinear. At 65 mm of mid-sternal posterior displacement measured externally, the effective thickness of the superficial tissues and air gap between the belt and the skin had decreased by 14 mm relative to the unloaded state.
Technical Paper

A Parametric Finite Element Model of the Human Pelvis

The present study describes the development of a refined finite element model of the human pelvis. The objectives of this research work were to: Statistically study the human pelvis geometry, and develop a parameterized model. Mechanically validate the model with regard to the available in-house experimental data. Model the injury mechanisms observed in the experimental studies. The significant dimensions of the pelvis were identified by statistical analysis of the pelvis geometry based on the Reynolds et al. data [1]. Those dimensions were used to classify the in-house tested pelves. An interpolation technique (Kriging [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8]) was then used in order to distort a reference mesh and adapt its geometry to the measured geometry of the tested pelvis. The mechanical validation of the model was carried out by comparing numerical and experimental results, and the influence of the geometrical variations on the behavior of the pelvis was thus assessed.
Technical Paper

Elimination of Thoracic Muscle Tensing Effects for Frontal Crash Dummies

Current crash dummy biofidelity standards include the estimated effects of tensing the muscles of the thorax. This study reviewed the decision to incorporate muscle tensing by examining relevant past studies and by using an existing mathematical model of thoracic impacts. The study finds evidence that muscle tensing effects are less pronounced than implied by the biofidelity standard response corridors, that the response corridors were improperly modified to include tensing effects, and that tensing of other body regions, such as extremity bracing, may have a much greater effect on the response and injury potential than tensing of only the thoracic musculature. Based on these findings, it is recommended that muscle tensing should be eliminated from thoracic biofidelity requirements until there is sufficient information regarding multi-region muscle tensing response and the capability to incorporate this new data into a crash dummy.