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Technical Paper

Air Bag Loading on In-Position Hybrid III Dummy Neck

The Hybrid III family of dummies is used to estimate the response of an occupant during a crash. One recent area of interest is the response of the neck during air bag loading. The biomechanical response of the Hybrid III dummy's neck was based on inertial loading during crash events, when the dummy is restrained by a seat belt and/or seat back. Contact loading resulting from an air bag was not considered when the Hybrid III dummy was designed. This paper considers the effect of air bag loading on the 5th percentile female Hybrid III dummies. The response of the neck is presented in comparison to currently accepted biomechanical corridors. The Hybrid III dummy neck was designed with primary emphasis on appropriate flexion and extension responses using the corridors proposed by Mertz and Patrick. They formulated the mechanical performance requirements of the neck as the relationship between the moment at the occipital condyles and the rotation of the head relative to the torso.
Technical Paper

Estimation of the Effects of Vehicle Size and Mass on Crash-Injury Outcome through Parameterized Probability Manifolds

One way to improve vehicle's fuel economy is to reduce its weight. Reducing weight, however has other consequences. One of these is reduced vehicle size. Almost invariably, lighter vehicles are smaller. Reducing vehicle weight has also been associated with a reduction in occupant protection; the lighter the vehicle, the greater the chance of injury when a crash occurs. For this study, a data-based model is used to evaluate the independent effects of size and weight. This model is constructed using the NASS database and information obtained from NCAP tests. The results indicate that although mass is the dominant factor, size also has an effect; some of the observed reduction in safety benefits associated with mass reduction is actually an effect of size reduction. The model is also used to evaluate the effects of varying stiffness.
Technical Paper

Information Flow Analysis for Air Bag Sensor Development

A statistical theory is used to quantify the amount of information transmitted from a transducer (i.e., accelerometer) to the air bag controller during a vehicle crash. The amount of information relevant to the assessment of the crash severity is evaluated. This quantification procedure helps determine the effectiveness of different testing conditions for the calibration of sensor algorithms. The amount of information in an acceleration signal is interpreted as a measure of the ability to separate signals based on parameters that are used to assess the severity of an impact. Applications to a linear spring-mass model and to actual crash signals from a development vehicle are presented. In particular, the comparison of rigid barrier (RB) and offset deformable barrier (ODB) testing modes is analyzed. Also, the performance of front-mounted and passenger compartment accelerometers are compared.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Pulse Shape Optimization to Improve Occupant Response in Front Impact

This paper presents a new approach to improve occupant response in a front impact event. Instead of designing a vehicle structure for maximum structural efficiency and safety and then engineer a restraint system for the vehicle, this paper proposes to use a systems approach. In this approach, the vehicle structural response during impact (i.e., pulse) and the restraint system are considered together in the optimization process. In this paper, the 35 mph front impact into a rigid barrier with belted occupants, which is the NHTSA NCAP test, will be used to demonstrate the proposed new approach.
Technical Paper

Versatile Occupant Analysis Model (V.O.A.M) for Frontal Impacts Using LS-DYNA and MADYMO

Regulations implemented by safety commissions throughout the world have resulted in extensive physical testing to protect the occupants during frontal impact events. Significant prototype and test costs aimed at optimizing structure and restraint systems are associated with meeting these regulations. To help reduce development costs, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is often applied. LS-DYNA [1] coupled with MADYMO [2] is widely used in crash and occupant safety simulation. An analysis technique which utilized a single model to design and optimize interiors (instrument panel, seats, visor, steering wheel, steering column) and restraints (airbag, seatbelts, retractor, pre-tensioner) was developed. The single model concept captures the global structural kinematics through minimal vehicle representation. Global vehicle modes such as pitch and roll can be represented by applying prescribed motion boundary conditions extracted from full vehicle models.