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Technical Paper

The Effect of Occupant Size on Head Displacement in Frontal Collisions

This paper builds on previous research on the development of a head displacement model for restrained occupants in frontal collisions. Physical and mathematical simulations were performed utilizing the 5th percentile female and 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummies to measure the effect of occupant size, seat belt system design and crash severity on resultant head displacement of occupants in frontal collisions. Sled and simulation accelerations ranged from 10 g to 20 g with delta-V's from 6.6 m/s to 10.0 m/s. Results indicate a difference between the 5th percentile female and 50th percentile male dummies. Preliminary assessment of head displacement as a function of occupant kinetic energy demonstrated good correlation.
Technical Paper

Sled Test Evaluation of Racecar Head/Neck Restraints Revisited

At the 2002 MSEC, we presented a paper on the sled test evaluation of racecar head/neck restraint performance (Melvin, et al. 2002). Some individuals objected to the 3 msec clip filtering procedures used to eliminate artifactual spikes in the neck tension data for the HANS® device. As a result, we are presenting the same test data with the spikes left in the neck force data to reassure those individuals that these spikes did not significantly affect the results and conclusions of our original paper. In addition we will add new insights into understanding head/neck restraint performance gained during two more years of testing such systems. This paper re-evaluates the performance of three commercially available head/neck restraint systems using a stock car seating configuration and a realistic stock car crash pulse. The tests were conducted at an impact angle of 30 degrees to the right, with a midsize male Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) modified for racecar crash testing.
Technical Paper

Sled Test Evaluation of Racecar Head/Neck Restraints

Recent action by some racecar sanctioning bodies making head/neck restraint use mandatory for competitors has resulted in a number of methods attempting to provide head/neck restraint. This paper evaluates the performance of a number of commercially available head/neck restraint systems using a stock car seating configuration and a realistic stock car crash pulse. The tests were conducted at an impact angle of 30 degrees to the right, with a midsize male Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) modified for racecar crash testing. A six-point latch and link racing harness restrained the ATD. The goal of the tests was to examine the performance of the head/neck restraint without the influence of the seat or steering wheel. Three head/neck restraint systems were tested using a sled pulse with a 35 mph (56 km/h) velocity change and 50G peak deceleration. Three tests with three samples of each system were performed to assess repeatability.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigations of Interactions between the Knee-Thigh-Hip Complex with Vehicle Interior Structures

Although biomechanical studies on the knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex have been extensive, interactions between the KTH and various vehicular interior design parameters in frontal automotive crashes for newer models have not been reported in the open literature to the best of our knowledge. A 3D finite element (FE) model of a 50th percentile male KTH complex, which includes explicit representations of the iliac wing, acetabulum, pubic rami, sacrum, articular cartilage, femoral head, femoral neck, femoral condyles, patella, and patella tendon, has been developed to simulate injuries such as fracture of the patella, femoral neck, acetabulum, and pubic rami of the KTH complex. Model results compared favorably against regional component test data including a three-point bending test of the femur, axial loading of the isolated knee-patella, axial loading of the KTH complex, axial loading of the femoral head, and lateral loading of the isolated pelvis.
Technical Paper

Neural Response of Cervical Facet Joint Capsule to Stretch: A Study of Whiplash Pain Mechanism

Cervical facet joints are implicated as a major source of pain after whiplash injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate the proposed capsule strain injury mechanism of whiplash pain using neurophysiologic methods. Strain thresholds, threshold distribution, saturation strains and afterdischarge responses of capsule neural receptors were characterized in vivo. Goat C5-C6 facet joint capsules were used to identify and characterize capsule receptors in response to controlled uniaxial stretch by recording C6 dorsal rootlet nerve discharge. The joints were stretched at 0.5 mm/sec in a series of tests with 2 mm increments until the capsule ruptured. Ninety-two identified units were responsive to physiologic or noxious stretch while 28 were silent receptors. Among the 50 characterized responsive units, 42 showed low strain thresholds at 10.2±4.6% while 8 had high strain thresholds at 47.2±9.6%.
Technical Paper

Motion Analysis of the Mandible during Low-Speed, Rear-End Impacts using High-Speed X-rays

There has been much debate over “whiplash”-induced temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction following low-speed, rear-end automobile collisions. While several authors have reported TMJ injury based on case studies post collision, there has been little biomechanical evidence showing that rear-end impact was the primary cause of such injury. The purpose of this study was to measure the relative translation between the upper and lower incisors in cadavers subjected to low-speed, rear-end impacts. High-speed x-ray images used for this analysis were reported previously for the analysis of cadaveric cervical spine kinematics during low-speed, rear-end impacts. The cadavers were positioned at various seatback angles and body postures, producing an overall picture of various seating scenarios.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Characterization of Porcine Abdominal Organs

Typical automotive related abdominal injuries occur due to contact with the rim of the steering wheel, seatbelt and armrest, however, the rate is less than in other body regions. When solid abdominal organs, such as the liver, kidneys and spleen are involved, the injury severity tends to be higher. Although sled and pendulum impact tests have been conducted using cadavers and animals, the mechanical properties and the tissue level injury tolerance of abdominal solid organs are not well characterized. These data are needed in the development of computer models, the improvement of current anthropometric test devices and the enhancement of our understanding of abdominal injury mechanisms. In this study, a series of experimental tests on solid abdominal organs was conducted using porcine liver, kidney and spleen specimens. Additionally, the injury tolerance of the solid organs was deduced from the experimental data.
Technical Paper

Mathematical Modeling of Crash-Induced Dynamic Loads on Race Car Drivers

A MADYMO model of a racing car and driver was driven by 3-D accelerations recorded in actual crashes. Helmet, belt restraint, and padding characteristics were obtained from dynamics tests. Model results of HIC, head accelerations and neck forces and moments were studied along with driver injuries to provide insight into the efficacy of current injury assessment parameters used with the head and neck of crash test dummies. The results are also used to discuss the kinematics performance of the crash test dummy neck as modeled by the MADYMO version of the Hybrid III midsize male crash test dummy.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Upper Body and Cervical Spine Kinematics of Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) during Low-Speed, Rear-End Impacts

A total of eight low-speed, rear-end impact tests using two Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) in a seated posture are reported. These tests were conducted using a HYGE-style mini-sled. Two test conditions were employed: 8 kph without a headrestraint or 16 kph with a headrestraint. Upper-body kinematics were captured for each test using a combination of transducers and high-speed video. A 3-2-2-2-accelerometer package was used to measure the generalized 3D kinematics of both the head and pelvis. An angular rate sensor and two single-axis linear accelerometers were used to measure angular speed, angular acceleration, and linear acceleration of T1 in the sagittal plane. Two high-speed video cameras were used to track targets rigidly attached to the head, T1, and pelvis. The cervical spine kinematics were captured with a high-speed, biplane x-ray system by tracking radiopaque markers implanted into each cervical vertebra.
Technical Paper

Forensic Determination of Seat Belt Usage in Automotive Collisions: Development of a Diagnostic Tool

The primary purpose of this research was to generate a “linked set” of data between collision severity, occupant weight and collision-induced seat belt markings to assist in reconstruction of motor vehicle accidents. The secondary purpose was to establish a preliminary threshold of belt load to produce known collision-induced seat belt markings. Sled tests were performed utilizing Hybrid III 5th and 50th percentile crash test dummies. Sled accelerations ranged from 10.0 g to 23.6 g and Delta-V’s from 6.4 m/s to 11.3 m/s. Post-test inspections and photographs taken of the seat belts documented collision-induced markings on components such as the D-Ring, latch plate, webbing and stitching. Belt loads were analyzed to establish preliminary thresholds for the production of observable markings.
Technical Paper

Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Abdomen

Currently, three-dimensional finite element models of the human body have been developed for frequently injured anatomical regions such as the brain, chest, extremities and pelvis. While a few models of the human body include the abdomen, these models have tended to oversimplify the complexity of the abdominal region. As the first step in understanding abdominal injuries via numerical methods, a 3D finite element model of a 50th percentile male human abdomen (WSUHAM) has been developed and validated against experimental data obtained from two sets of side impact tests and a series of frontal impact tests. The model includes a detailed representation of the liver, spleen, kidneys, spine, skin and major blood vessels.
Technical Paper

Development of Numerical Models for Injury Biomechanics Research: A Review of 50 Years of Publications in the Stapp Car Crash Conference

Numerical analyses frequently accompany experimental investigations that study injury biomechanics and improvements in automotive safety. Limited by computational speed, earlier mathematical models tended to simplify the system under study so that a set of differential equations could be written and solved. Advances in computing technology and analysis software have enabled the development of many sophisticated models that have the potential to provide a more comprehensive understanding of human impact response, injury mechanisms, and tolerance. In this article, 50 years of publications on numerical modeling published in the Stapp Car Crash Conference Proceedings and Journal were reviewed. These models were based on: (a) author-developed equations and software, (b) public and commercially available programs to solve rigid body dynamic models (such as MVMA2D, CAL3D or ATB, and MADYMO), and (c) finite element models.
Technical Paper

Brain Injury Prediction for Indy Race Car Drivers Using Finite Element Model of the Human Head

The objective of this work was to evaluate a new tool for assessing brain injury. Many race car drivers have suffered concussion and other brain injuries and are in need of ways of evaluating better head protective systems and equipment. Current assessment guidelines such as HIC may not be adequate for assessing all scenarios. Finite element models of the brain have the potential to provide much better injury prediction for any scenario. At a previous Motorsports conference, results of a MADYMO model of a racing car and driver driven by 3-D accelerations recorded in actual crashes were presented. Model results from nine cases, some with concussion and some not, yielded head accelerations that were used to drive the Wayne State University Head Injury Model (WSUHIM). This model consists of over 310,000 elements and is capable of simulating direct and indirect impacts. It has been extensively validated using published cadaveric test data.
Technical Paper

Biodynamic Response of the Musculoskeletal System to Impact Acceleration

The effect of muscular response on occupant dynamics was studied in human volunteers exposed to low level impact acceleration. The study includes identification of muscular response, correlation of electromyographic activity with reaction force, and investigation of the effects of muscular restraint during impact. Human volunteers were subjected to −Gx impact acceleration in a simulated automobile environment while EMG activity of various lower extremity muscles was monitored. The seat and floor pan were supported on load cells which measured all restraining forces. Nine–accelerometer modules and high-speed photography were used to measure kinematics. Identical runs were made with an embalmed cadaver and dummy for comparison. Static EMG and force traces as well as dynamic results for various acceleration levels are presented. Differences between tensed and relaxed states are compared and discussed as to EMG response, force levels, and head kinematics.
Technical Paper

Below Knee Impact Responses using Cadaveric Specimens

Knee injuries represent about 10% of all injuries suffered during car crashes. Efforts to assess the injury risk to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) have been based on a study available in the literature (Viano et al., 1978), in which only two of the five knees tested had PCL ruptures. The aims of the current study were to repeat the study with a higher number of samples, study the effects of other soft tissues on knee response, and assess the adequacy of the experimental setup for the identification of a PCL tolerance. A total of 14 knees were tested using a high-speed materials testing machine. Eight were intact knees (with the patella and all the muscular and ligamentous structures), three were PCL-only knees (patella and all the muscular and ligamentous structures other than the PCL removed), and the last three were PCL-only knees with the tibia protected from bending fracture.
Technical Paper

Analysis of a Real-World Crash Using Finite Element Modeling to Examine Traumatic Rupture of the Aorta

One of the leading causes of death in automotive crashes is traumatic rupture of the aorta (TRA) or blunt aortic injury (BAI). The risk of fatality is high if an aortic injury is not detected and treated promptly. The objective of this study is to investigate TRA mechanisms using finite element (FE) simulations of reconstructed real-world accidents involving aortic injury. For this application, a case was obtained from the William Lehman Injury Research Center (WLIRC), which is a Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) center. In this selected crash, the case vehicle was struck on the left side with a Principal Direction of Force (PDoF) of 290 degrees. The side structure of the case vehicle crushed a maximum of 0.33 m. The total delta-V was estimated to be 6.2 m/s. The occupant, a 62-year old mid-sized male, was fatally injured. The occupant sustained multiple rib fractures, laceration of the right ventricle, and TRA, among other injuries.
Technical Paper

Advanced Human Modeling for Injury Biomechanics Research

The two main motivations for Wayne State University (WSU) and Henry Ford Hospital (HFH) researchers to develop numerical human surrogates are advanced computing technology and a high-speed x-ray imaging device not available just a decade ago. This paper summarizes the capabilities and limitations of detailed component models of the human body, from head to foot, developed at WSU over the last decade (Zhang et al. 2001, Yang et al. 1998, Shah et al. 2001, Iwamoto et al. 2000, Lee et al. 2001 and Beillas et al. 2001). All of these models were validated against global response data obtained from relevant high-speed cadaveric tests. Additionally, some models were also validated against local kinematics of bones or soft tissues obtained using the high-speed x-ray system. All of these models have been scaled to conform to the key dimensions of a 50th percentile male.
Journal Article

A Method for Determining the Vehicle-to-Ground Contact Load during Laboratory-based Rollover Tests

Many rollover safety researches have been conducted experimentally and analytically to investigate the underlying causes of vehicle accidents and develop rollover test procedures and test methodologies to help understand the nature of rollover crash events. In addition, electronic and/or mechanical instrumentation are used in dummy and vehicle to measure their responses that allow both vehicle kinematics study and occupant injury assessment. However, method for measurement of dynamic structural deformation needs further exploration, and means to monitor vehicle-to-ground contact load is still lacking. Thus, this paper presents a method for determining the vehicle-to-ground load during laboratory-based rollover tests using results obtained from a camera-matching photogrammetric technology as inputs to a FE SUV model using a nonlinear crash analysis code.