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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.
Technical Paper

A Study of the IIHS Frontal Pole Impact Test

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS, 1995-2004), over 20 percent of fatal frontal crashes are into fixed narrow objects such as trees and utility poles in real world crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has studied the frontal pole impact test since 2005, conducting a series of tests using passenger cars that are rated “Good” from the IIHS frontal offset test. Passenger cars were impacted into a 10-inch-diameter rigid pole at 64-kph. The alignment of the pole along the centerline of the vehicles in frontal impact was varied to study the influence on dummy injury metrics. This paper evaluates the frontal center pole test conducted by the IIHS. The IIHS tests 21 crashes impacted by the rigid pole using 5 vehicle models with two dummies in the front seat. Intrusions and dummy readings were reviewed according to the frontal offset rating criteria of the IIHS for structural performance and injury measurement.
Journal Article

A Study of the Rear Seat Occupant Safety using a 10-Year-Old Child Dummy in the New Car Assessment Program

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a total of 28 frontal crashes in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) involving the 10-year-old child Hybrid III dummy. The 10-year-old child dummy was in the rear seat. All types of vehicles (passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and pick-up trucks) were tested to assess the effect of restraint systems such as booster and pretensioner on the rear seat occupant. In this study, the readings of the 10-year-old child dummy in rear-left and rear-right seat positions are examined. The authors apply a possible 5 star rating system, based on head and chest readings of the 10-year-old dummy. The paper also assesses the safety performance of rear seat occupants and the effect of the restraint systems on a child in the rear seat. This paper suggests that a star rating for rear seat occupants is independent of the present ratings for the driver and front adult passenger in NCAP.
Technical Paper

A Study of the Response of the Human Cadaver Head to Impact

High-speed biplane x-ray and neutral density targets were used to examine brain displacement and deformation during impact. Relative motion, maximum principal strain, maximum shear strain, and intracranial pressure were measured in thirty-five impacts using eight human cadaver head and neck specimens. The effect of a helmet was evaluated. During impact, local brain tissue tends to keep its position and shape with respect to the inertial frame, resulting in relative motion between the brain and skull and deformation of the brain. The local brain motions tend to follow looping patterns. Similar patterns are observed for impact in different planes, with some degree of posterior-anterior and right-left symmetry. Peak coup pressure and pressure rate increase with increasing linear acceleration, but coup pressure pulse duration decreases. Peak average maximum principal strain and maximum shear are on the order of 0.09 for CFC 60 Hz data for these tests.
Technical Paper

A tibial mid-shaft injury mechanism in frontal automotive crashes

Lower extremity injuries in frontal automotive crashes usually occur with footwell intrusion where both the knee and foot are constrained. In order to identify factors associated with tibial shaft injury, a series of numerical simulations were conducted using a finite element model of the whole human body. These simulations demonstrated that tibial mid-shaft injuries in frontal crashes could be caused by an abrupt change in velocity and a high rate of footwell intrusion.
Technical Paper


Since 1990, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented a dynamic side impact compliance test. This compliance test, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, is a nearly right angle side impact in which the striking vehicle moves at 53.6 kmph into the struck vehicle. In 1997, NHTSA began testing passenger cars in side impact in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). In the USA NCAP side impact, the striking vehicle is towed at a 8 kmph higher speed than in the compliance test. An analysis has begun on the data from the first NCAP side impact tests, thirty-two in number. In the crashes, accelerometers were installed in the door and door frames of the struck vehicle. Using the accelerometers on the vehicle structure and in the side impact dummy, the crash event was investigated. One tool used in the investigation was the velocity-versus-time diagram.
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

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

Aortic Mechanics in High-Speed Racing Crashes

Auto racing has been in vogue from the time automobiles were first built. With the dawn of modern cars came higher engine capacities; the speeds involved in these races and crashes increased as well. However, the advent of passive restraint systems such as the helmet, HANS (Head and Neck Support device), multi-point harness system, roll cage, side and frontal crush zones, racing seats, fire retardant suits, and soft-wall technology, have greatly improved the survivability of the drivers in high-speed racing crashes. Three left lateral crashes from Begeman and Melvin (2002), Case #LAS12, #IND14 and #99TX were used as inputs to the Wayne State Human Body Model (WSHBM) in a simulated racing buck. Twelve simulations with delta-v, six-point harness and shoulder pad as design variables were analyzed for the average maximum principal strain (AMPS) in the aorta. The average AMPS for the high-speed crashes were 0.1551±0.0172 while the average maximum pressure was 110.50±4.25 kPa.
Technical Paper

Application of a Finite Element Model of the Brain to Study Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms in the Rat

Complete validation of any finite element (FE) model of the human brain is very difficult due to the lack of adequate experimental data. However, more animal brain injury data, especially rat data, obtained under well-defined mechanical loading conditions, are available to advance the understanding of the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, internal response of the brain in these experimental studies could not be measured. The aim of this study was to develop a detailed FE model of the rat brain for the prediction of intracranial responses due to different impact scenarios. Model results were used to elucidate possible brain injury mechanisms. An FE model, consisting of more than 250,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns, was developed to represent the brain of a rat. The model was first validated locally against peak brain deformation data obtained from nine unique dynamic cortical deformation (vacuum) tests.
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

Biomechanical Response of the Bovine Pia-Arachnoid Complex to Tensile Loading at Varying Strain Rates

The pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) covering the brain plays an important role in the mechanical response of the brain due to impact or inertial loading. However, the mechanical properties of the pia-arachnoid complex and its influence on the overall response of the brain have not been well characterized. Consequently, finite element (FE) brain models have tended to oversimplify the response of the pia-arachnoid complex, possibly resulting in a loss of accuracy in the model predictions. The aim of this study was to determine, experimentally, the material properties of the pia-arachnoid complex under quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Specimens of the pia-arachnoid complex were obtained from the parietal and temporal regions of freshly slaughtered bovine subjects with the specimen orientation recorded. Single-stroke, uniaxial quasi-static and dynamic tensile experiments were performed at strain-rates of 0.05, 0.5, 5 and 100 s-1 (n = 10 for each strain rate group).
Technical Paper

Brain/Skull Relative Displacement Magnitude Due to Blunt Head Impact: New Experimental Data and Model

Relative motion between the brain and skull may explain many types of brain injury such as intracerebral hematomas due to bridging veins rupture [1] and cerebral contusions. However, no experimental methods have been developed to measure the magnitude of this motion. Consequently, relative motion between the brain and skull predicted by analytical tools has never been validated. In this study, radio opaque markers were placed in the skull and neutral density markers were placed in the brain in two vertical columns in the occipitoparietal and temporoparietal regions. A bi-planar, high-speed x-ray system was used to track the motion of these markers. Due to limitations in current technology to record the x-ray image on high-speed video cameras, only low- speed (﹤ 4m/s) impact data were available.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of PMHS Lumbar Motion Segments in Lateral Shear

The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of eighteen lumbar spine motion segments subjected to lateral shear forces under quasi-static (0.5 mm/s) and dynamic (500 mm/s) test conditions. The quasi-static test was also performed on the lumbar spine of a side impact anthropomorphic test device, the EuroSID-2 (ES-2). In the quasi-static tests, the maximum force before disc-endplate separation in the PMHS lumbar motion segments was 1850 ± 612 N, while the average linear stiffness of PMHS lumbar motion segments was 323 ± 126 N/mm. There was a statistically significant difference between the quasi-static (1850 ± 612 N) and dynamic (2616 ± 1151 N) maximum shear forces. The ES-2 lumbar spine (149 N/mm) was more compliant than the PMHS lumbar segments under the quasi-static test condition.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Current Anthropomorphic Test Devices in a Three-Point Belt Restraint System

Frontal sled tests of the Part 572, APR, and Hybrid III dummies were conducted in a three-point restraint system at 50 km/hr velocity change. The tests were conducted to evaluate the dummy responses in a tightly controlled systems environment, and to compare the dummy responses to previously established cadaver responses from the same environment. The Hybrid III dummy measurement repeatability was found to be better than either the Part 572 or APR dummies, although the thoracic acceleration responses from all three are shown to be quite similar to cadavers. Correlation of the dummy measurements are made to a limited amount of both the cadaver data and accident data from the National Crash Severity Study.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Vehicle Structural Integrity and Occupant Injury Potential in Full-frontal and Offset-frontal Crash Tests

The frontal crash standard in the USA specifies that the full front of a vehicle impact a rigid barrier. Subsequently, the European Union developed a frontal crash standard that requires 40 percent of the front of a vehicle to impact a deformable barrier. The present study conducted paired crashes of vehicles using the full-frontal barrier procedure and the 40 percent offset deformable barrier procedure. In part, the study was to examine the feasibility of adding an offset test procedure to the frontal crash standard in the USA. Frontal-offset and full-frontal testing was conducted using both the mid-size (50th percentile male Hybrid III) and the small stature (5th percentile female Hybrid III) dummies. Five vehicle models were used in the testing: Dodge Neon, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Venture and Ford Contour. In the crash tests, all dummies were restrained with the available safety belt systems and frontal air bags.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of the Contribution of the Vasculature on the Dynamic Response of the Brain

Brain tissue architecture consists of a complex network of neurons and vasculature interspersed within a matrix of supporting cells. The role of the relatively suffer blood vessels on the more compliant brain tissues during rapid loading has not been properly investigated. Two 2-D finite element models of the human head were developed. The basic model (Model I) consisted of the skull, dura matter, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), tentorium, brain tissue and the parasagittal bridging veins. The pia mater was also included but in a simplified form which does not correspond to the convolutions of the brain. In Model II, major branches of the cerebral arteries were added to Model I. Material properties for the brain tissues and vasculature were taken from those reported in the literature. The model was first validated against intracranial pressure and brain/skull relative motion data from cadaveric tests.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Side Impact Dummy/Cadaver Tests

This paper is part of a four year study to systematically define side impact injury in terms of the kinetic response of a suitable anthropomorphic dummy. Last year a paper was presented at the Experimental Safety Vehicle Conference in Germany which analyzed side impact dummy response and injury prediction based on cadaver data generated by the Highway Safety Research Institute. These subjects were generally older than those discussed in the current paper. This paper includes data from a number of University of Heidelberg cadaver sled tests-including padding tests which we recently found to be (1) critical for a definitive analysis and (2) previously not available. Two advanced dummies, whose design specifications are based upon biomechanical data, are currently being evaluated by the biomechanical community. The two dummies are (1) a Side Impact Dummy (SID) designed by the Highway Safety Research Institute (HSRI) and (2) the Association Peugeot-Renault (APR) dummy from France.
Technical Paper

Determination of Impact Responses of ES-2re and SID-IIs - Part I: ES-2re

The main purpose of this study was to determine the impact responses of the different body regions (shoulder, thorax, abdomen and pelvis/leg) of the ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies using rigid wall impacts under different initial test conditions. The experimental set-up consisted of a flat rigid wall with five instrumented load-wall plates aligned with dummy’s shoulder, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and knee impacting a stationary dummy seated on a rigid seat at a pre-determined velocity. The relative location and orientation of the load-wall plates was adjusted relative to the body regions of the ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies respectively.
Technical Paper

Determination of Impact Responses of ES-2re and SID-IIs - Part III: Development of Transfer Functions

An understanding of stiffness characteristics of different body regions, such as thorax, abdomen and pelvis of ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies under controlled laboratory test conditions is essential for development of both compatible performance targets for countermeasures and occupant protection strategies to meet the recently updated FMVSS214, LINCAP and IIHS Dynamic Side Impact Test requirements. The primary purpose of this study is to determine the transfer functions between the ES-2re and SID-IIs dummies for different body regions under identical test conditions using flat rigid wall sled tests. The experimental set-up consists of a flat rigid wall with five instrumented load-wall plates aligned with dummy’s shoulder, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and femur/knee impacting a stationary dummy seated on a rigid low friction seat at a pre-determined velocity.