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Technical Paper

Variability of Hybrid III Clearance Dimensions within the FMVSS 208 and NCAP Vehicle Test Fleets and the Effects of Clearance Dimensions on Dummy Impact Responses

Locations of key body segments of Hybrid III dummies used in FMVSS 208 compliance tests and NCAP tests were measured and subjected to statistical analysis. Mean clearance dimensions and their standard deviations for selected body segments of driver and passenger occupants with respect to selected vehicle surfaces were determined for several classes of vehicles. These occupant locations were then investigated for correlation with impact responses measured in crash tests and by using a three dimensional human-dummy mathematical model in comparable settings. Based on these data, the importance of some of the clearance dimensions between the dummy and the vehicle surfaces was determined. The study also compares observed Hybrid III dummy positions within selected vehicles with real world occupant positions reported in published literature.
Technical Paper


This paper describes a CAE-based methodology used to identity major factors influencing vehicle structural performance and crash energy management in full-frontal vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Finite element models of an “average” SUV and an “average” full-size passenger vehicle were used in this study. The determining factors of vehicle compatibility in multi-vehicle collisions are relative mass, relative stiffness and relative geometry. Four parameters of the average SUV, mass, fore rail length, fore rail thickness, and fore rail height were selected as design variables. A uniformly spaced Optimal Latin Hypercube sampling technique was employed to probe the design space of these variables using thirteen simulation runs. Dash intrusions in the passenger vehicle and the absorbed collision energy in both vehicles were selected as response variables.
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

Theoretical Evaluation of the Requirements of the 1999 Advanced Airbag SNPRM – Part One: Design Space Constraint Analysis

In the 1999 Supplemental Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for Advanced Airbags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sought comments on the maximum speed at which the high-speed, unbelted occupant test suite will be conducted, i.e., 48 kph vs. 40 kph. To help address this question, an analysis of constraints was performed via extensive mathematical modeling of a theoretical restraint system. First, math models (correlated with several existing physical tests) were used to predict the occupant responses associated with 336 different theoretical dual-stage driver airbag designs subjected to six specific Regulated and non-Regulated tests.
Technical Paper

The Position of the United States Delegation to the ISO Working Group 6 on the Use of HIC in the Automotive Environment

A review and analysis of existing cadaver head impact data has been conducted in this paper. The association of the Head Injury Criterion with experimental cadaver skull fracture and brain damage has been investigated, and risk curves of HIC versus skull fracture and brain damage have been developed. Limitation of the search for the maximum HIC duration to 15ms has been recommended for the proper use of HIC in the automotive crash environment.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Superficial Soft Tissues and Restraint Condition on Thoracic Skeletal Injury Prediction

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the hard tissue injury -predictive value of various thoracic injury criteria when the restraint conditions are varied. Ten right-front passenger human cadaver sled tests are presented, all of which were performed at 48 km/h with nominally identical sled deceleration pulses. Restraint conditions evaluated are 1) force-limiting belt and depowered airbag (4 tests), 2) non-depowered airbag with no torso belt (3 tests), and 3) standard belt and depowered airbag (3 tests). Externally measured chest compression is shown to correspond well with the pre sence of hard tissue injury, regardless of restraint condition, and rib fracture onset is found to occur at approximately 25% chest compression. Peak acceleration and the average spinal acceleration measured at the first and eighth or ninth thoracic vertebrae are shown to be unrelated to the presence of injury, though clear variations in peaks and time histories among restraint conditions can be seen.
Technical Paper

The Field Relevance of NHTSA's Oblique Research Moving Deformable Barrier Tests

A small overlap frontal crash test has been recently introduced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its frontal rating scheme. Another small overlap frontal crash test is under development by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Whereas the IIHS test is conducted against a fixed rigid barrier, the NHTSA test is conducted with a moving deformable barrier that overlaps 35% of the vehicle being tested and the angle between the longitudinal axis of the barrier and the longitudinal axis of the test vehicle is 15 degrees. The field relevance of the IIHS test has been the subject of a paper by Prasad et al. (2014). The current study is aimed at examining the field relevance of the NHTSA test.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Skull Thickness Variations on Human Head Dynamic Impact Responses

Variations in human skull thickness affecting human head dynamic impact responses were studied by finite element modeling techniques, experimental measurements, and histology examinations. The aims of the study were to better understand the influences of skull thickness variations on human head dynamic impact responses and the injury mechanisms of human head during direct impact. The thicknesses of the frontal bone of seven human cadaver skulls were measured using ultrasonic technology. These measurements were compared with previous experimental data. Histology of the skull was recorded and examined. The measured data were analyzed and then served as a reference to vary the skull thickness of a previously published three-dimensional finite element human head model to create four models with different skull thickness. The skull thicknesses modeled are 4.6 mm, 5.98 mm, 7.68 mm, and 9.61 mm.
Technical Paper

Stiff versus Yielding Seats: Analysis of Matched Rear Impact Tests

The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from KARCO rear impact tests and to evaluate an injury predictive model based on crash severity and occupant weight presented by Saczalski et al. (2004). The KARCO tests were carried out with various seat designs. Biomechanical responses were evaluated in speed ranges of 7-12, 13-17, 18-23 and 24-34 mph. For this analysis, all tests with matching yielding and stiff seats and matching occupant size and weight were analyzed for cases without 2nd row occupant interaction. Overall, the test data shows that conventional yielding seats provide a high degree of safety for small to large adult occupants in rear crashes; this data is also consistent with good field performance as found in NASS-CDS. Saczalski et al.'s (2004) predictive model of occupant injury is not correct as there are numerous cases from NASS-CDS that show no or minor injury in the region where serious injury is predicted.
Technical Paper

Side Impact Regulatory Trends, Crash Environment and Injury Risk in the USA

Light duty vehicles in the US are designed to meet and exceed regulatory standards, self-imposed industry agreements and safety rating tests conducted by NHTSA and IIHS. The evolution of side impact regulation in the US from 1973 to 2015 is discussed in the paper along with two key industry agreements in 2003 affecting design of restraint systems and structures for side impact protection. A combination of all the above influences shows that vehicles in the US are being designed to more demanding and comprehensive requirements than in any other region of the world. The crash environment in the US related to side impacts was defined based on data in the nationally representative crash database NASS. Crash environment factors, including the distribution of cars, light trucks and vans (LTV’s), and medium-to-heavy vehicles (MHV’s) in the fleet, and the frequency of their interactions with one another in side impacts, were considered.
Technical Paper

Side Impact Modeling using Quasi-Static Crush Data

This paper describes the development of a three-dimensional lumped-mass structure and dummy model to study barrier-to-car side impacts. The test procedures utilized to develop model input data are also described. The model results are compared to crash test results from a series of six barrier-to-car crash tests. Sensitivity analysis using the validated model show the necessity to account for dynamic structural rate effects when using quasi-statically measured vehicle crush data.
Technical Paper

Role of Electronics in Automotive Safety

The past, current and future role of electronics in reducing accidents, crash severity and crash notification is discussed. A holistic approach that ties pre-crash, crash and post-crash factors in enhancing automotive safety is examined and the growing role of electronics in affecting the three factors is discussed. Electronic technology has already entered the automotive safety arena, and its utilization in the future is expected to grow rapidly towards the goal of safer roadway environment.
Technical Paper

Predictions of AIS3+ Thoracic Risks for Belted Occupants in Full-Engagement, Real-World Frontal Impacts: Sensitivity to Various Theoretical Risk Curves

A new, AIS3+ thoracic risk equation based on chest deflection was derived and assessed for drivers subjected to concentrated (belt-like) loading. The new risk equation was derived from analysis of an existing database of post mortem human subjects in controlled, laboratory sled tests. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed on a subset of the data, namely, 25th-75th percentile men (by weight) from 36-65 years old whose thoracic deformation patterns were due to concentrated (belt-like) loading. Other subsets of data had insufficient size to conduct the analysis. The resulting thoracic risk equation was adjusted to predict the AIS3+ thoracic risks for average-aged occupants in frontal crashes (i.e., 30 years old). Biomechanical scaling was used to derive the corresponding relationships for the small female and large male dummies. The new thoracic risk equations and three other sets of existing equations were evaluated as predictors of real-world crash outcomes.
Technical Paper

Prediction and Analysis of Human Thoracic Impact Responses and Injuries in Cadaver Impacts Using a Full Human Body Finite Element Model

Human thoracic dynamic responses and injuries associated with frontal impact, side impact, and belt loading were investigated and predicted using a complete human body finite element model for an average adult male. The human body model was developed to study the impact biomechanics of a vehicular occupant. Its geometry was based on the Visible Human Project (National Library of Medicine) and the topographies from human body anatomical texts. The data was then scaled to an average adult male according to available biomechanical data from the literature. The model includes details of the head, neck, ribcage, abdomen, thoracic and lumbar spine, internal organs of the chest and abdomen, pelvis, and the upper and lower extremities. The present study is focused on the dynamic response and injuries of the thorax.
Technical Paper

Opportunities for Injury Reduction in US Frontal Crashes: An Overview by Structural Engagement, Vehicle Class, and Occupant Age

An overview NASS study of US frontal crashes was performed to investigate crash involvement, driver injury distributions and rates in airbag equipped vehicles by vehicle class and structural engagement. Frontal crash bins were based on taxonomy of structural engagement, i.e., Full Engagement, Offset, Between Rails and Corner impact crashes. A new classification of Corner impacts included frontal small overlap impacts with side damage as coded by NASS CDS. Belted drivers of two age groups, between 16 and 50 and over 50 years old, were considered. Vehicles were grouped into light and heavy passenger cars and lights trucks, and vans. A method to identify and address overly influential NASS weights was developed based on considerations of weighting factor statistics. The new taxonomy, with an expanded definition of corner impacts, allowed a more comprehensive classification of frontal crash modes.
Technical Paper

Occupant Responses in High-Speed Rear Crashes: Analysis of Government-Sponsored Tests

The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from FMVSS 301-type rear impact tests. Rear impact test data was obtained from NHTSA and consisted of dummy responses, test observations, photos and videos. The data was organized in four test series: 1) NCAP series of 30 New Car Assessment Program tests carried out at 35 mph with 1979-1980 model year vehicles, 2) Mobility series of 14 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1993 model year vehicles, 3) 301 MY 95+ series of 79 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1995-2005 model year vehicles and 4) ODB series of 17 Offset Deformable Barrier tests carried out at 50 mph with a 70% overlap using 1996-1999 model year vehicles. The results indicate very good occupant performance in yielding seats in the NCAP, Mobility and 301 MY 95+ test series.
Technical Paper

Macroscopic Constitutive Behaviors of Aluminum Honeycombs Under Dynamic Inclined Loads

Macroscopic constitutive behaviors of aluminum 5052-H38 honeycombs under dynamic inclined loads with respect to the out-of-plane direction are investigated by experiments. The results of the dynamic crush tests indicate that as the impact velocity increases, the normal crush strength increases and the shear strength remains nearly the same for a fixed ratio of the normal to shear displacement rate. The experimental results suggest that the macroscopic yield surface of the honeycomb specimens as a function of the impact velocity under the given dynamic inclined loads is not governed by the isotropic hardening rule of the classical plasticity theory. As the impact velocity increases, the shape of the macroscopic yield surface changes, or more specifically, the curvature of the yield surface increases near the pure compression state.
Technical Paper

Lower Limb: Advanced FE Model and New Experimental Data

The Lower Limb Model for Safety (LLMS) is a finite element model of the lower limb developed mainly for safety applications. It is based on a detailed description of the lower limb anatomy derived from CT and MRI scans collected on a subject close to a 50th percentile male. The main anatomical structures from ankle to hip (excluding the hip) were all modeled with deformable elements. The modeling of the foot and ankle region was based on a previous model Beillas et al. (1999) that has been modified. The global validation of the LLMS focused on the response of the isolated lower leg to axial loading, the response of the isolated knee to frontal and lateral impact, and the interaction of the whole model with a Hybrid III model in a sled environment, for a total of nine different set-ups. In order to better characterize the axial behavior of the lower leg, experiments conducted on cadaveric tibia and foot were reanalyzed and experimental corridors were proposed.
Technical Paper

Interactions of Out-of-Position Small-Female Surrogates with a Depowered Driver Airbag

The objectives of this study were to examine the response, repeatability, and injury predictive ability of the Hybrid III small-female dummy to static out-of-position (OOP) deployments using a depowered driver-side airbag. Five dummy tests were conducted in two OOP configurations by two different laboratories. The OOP configurations were nose-on-rim (NOR) and chest-on-bag (COB). Four cadaver tests were conducted using unembalmed small-female cadavers and the same airbags used in the dummy tests under similar OOP conditions. One cadaver test was designed to increase airbag loading of the face and neck (a forehead-on-rim, or FOR test). Comparison between the dummy tests of Lab 1 and of Lab 2 indicated the test conditions and results were repeatable. In the cadaver tests no skull fractures or neck injuries occurred. However, all four cadavers had multiple rib fractures.
Technical Paper

Injury Risk Curves for Children and Adults in Frontal and Rear Collisions

This paper describes the development of injury risk curves for measurements made with the CRABI and Hybrid III family of biofidelic child and adult dummies that are used to evaluate restraint systems in frontal and rear-end collision simulations. Injury tolerance data are normalized for size and strength considerations. These data are analyzed to give normalized injury risk curves for neck tension, neck extension moment, combined neck tension and extension moment, sternal compression, the rate of sternal compression, and the rate of abdominal compression for children and adults. Using these injury risk curves dummy response limits can be defined for prescribed injury risk levels. The injury risk levels associated with the various injury assessment reference values currently used with the CRABI and Hybrid III family of dummies are noted.