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Technical Paper

A Comparative Evaluation of Pedestrian Kinematics and Injury Prediction for Adults and Children upon Impact with a Passenger Car

Studies show that the pedestrian population at high risk of injury consists of both young children and adults. The goal of this study is to gain understanding in the mechanisms that lead to injuries for children and adults. Multi-body pedestrian human models of two specific anthropometries, a 6year-old child and a 50th percentile adult male, are applied. A vehicle model is developed that consists of a detailed rigid finite element mesh, validated stiffness regions, stiff structures underlying the hood and a suspension model. Simulations are performed in a test matrix where anthropometry, impact speed and impact location are variables. Bumper impact occurs with the tibia of the 50th percentile adult male and with the thigh of the 6-year-old child. The head of a 50th percentile male impacts the lower windshield, while the 6-year-old child's head impacts the front part of the hood.
Journal Article

A Computational Study of Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing Child Restraints

A recent study of U.S. crash data has shown that children 0-23 months of age in forward-facing child restraint systems (FFCRS) are 76% more likely to be seriously injured in comparison to children in rear-facing child restraint systems (RFCRS). Motivated by the epidemiological data, seven sled tests of dummies in child seats were performed at the University of Virginia using a crash pulse similar to FMVSS 213 test conditions. The tests showed an advantage for RFCRS; however, real-world crashes include a great deal of variability among factors that may affect the relative performance of FFCRS and RFCRS. Therefore, this research developed MADYMO computational models of these tests and varied several real-world parameters. These models used ellipsoid models of Q-series child dummies and facet surface models of American- and Swedish- style convertible child restraints (CRS).
Technical Paper

A Finite Element Model of the Lower Limb for Simulating Pedestrian Impacts

A finite element (FE) model of the lower limb was developed to improve the understanding of injury mechanisms of thigh, knee, and leg during car-to-pedestrian impacts and to aid in the design of injury countermeasures for vehicle front-ends. The geometry of the model was reconstructed from CT scans of the Visible Human Project Database and commercial anatomical databases. The geometry and mass were scaled to those of a 50th percentile male and the entire lower limb was positioned in a standing position according to the published anthropometric references. A "structural approach" was utilized to generate the FE mesh using mostly hexahedral and quadrilateral elements to enhance the computational efficiency of the model. The material properties were selected based on a synthesis on current knowledge of the constitutive models for each tissue.
Technical Paper

A Madymo Model of the Foot and Leg for Local Impacts

It has been reported that lower extremity injuries represent a measurable portion of all moderate-to-severe automobile crash- related injuries. Thus, a simple tool to assist with the design of leg and foot injury countermeasures is desirable. The objective of this study is to develop a mathematical model which can predict load propagation and kinematics of the foot and leg in frontal automotive impacts. A multi-body model developed at the University of Virginia and validated for blunt impact to the whole foot has been used as basis for the current work. This model includes representations of the tibia, fibula, talus, hindfoot, midfoot and forefoot bones. Additionally, the model provides a means for tensioning the Achilles tendon. In the current study, the simulations conducted correspond to tests performed by the Transport Research Laboratory and the University of Nottingham on knee-amputated cadaver specimens.
Technical Paper

A Method for the Experimental Investigation of Acceleration as a Mechanism of Aortic Injury

Rupture of the thoracic aorta is a leading cause of rapid fatality in automobile crashes, but the mechanism of this injury remains unknown. One commonly postulated mechanism is a differential motion of the aortic arch relative to the heart and its neighboring vessels caused by high-magnitude acceleration of the thorax. Recent Indy car crash data show, however, that humans can withstand accelerations exceeding 100 g with no injury to the thoracic vasculature. This paper presents a method to investigate the efficacy of acceleration as an aortic injury mechanism using high-acceleration, low chest deflection sled tests. The repeatability and predictability of the test method was evaluated using two Hybrid III tests and two tests with cadaver subjects. The cadaver tests resulted in sustained mid-spine accelerations of up to 80 g for 20 ms with peak mid-spine accelerations of up to 175 g, and maximum chest deflections lower than 11% of the total chest depth.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Body Computational Study of the Kinematic and Injury Response of a Pedestrian with Variable Stance upon Impact with a Vehicle

This research investigates the variation of pedestrian stance in pedestrian-automobile impact using a validated multi-body vehicle and human model. Detailed vehicle models of a small family car and a sport utility vehicle (SUV) are developed and validated for impact with a 50th percentile human male anthropometric ellipsoid model, and different pedestrian stances (struck limb forward, feet together, and struck limb backward) are investigated. The models calculate the physical trajectory of the multi-body models including head and torso accelerations, as well as pelvic force loads. This study shows that lower limb orientation during a pedestrian-automobile impact plays a dominant role in upper body kinematics of the pedestrian. Specifically, stance has a substantial effect on the subsequent impacts of the head and thorax with the vehicle. The variation in stance can change the severity of an injury incurred during an impact by changing the impact region.
Technical Paper

A Normalization Technique for Developing Corridors from Individual Subject Responses

This paper presents a technique for developing corridors from individual subject responses contained in experimental biomechanical data sets. Force-deflection response is used as an illustrative example. The technique begins with a method for averaging human subject force-deflection responses in which curve shape characteristics are maintained and discontinuities are avoided. Individual responses sharing a common characteristic shape are averaged based upon normalized deflection values. The normalized average response is then scaled to represent the given data set using the mean peak deflection value associated with the set of experimental data. Finally, a procedure for developing a corridor around the scaled normalized average response is presented using standard deviation calculations for both force and deflection.
Technical Paper

A Pneumatic Airbag Deployment System for Experimental Testing

This paper examines an originally designed airbag deployment system for use in static experimental testing. It consists of a pressure vessel and valve arrangement with pneumatic and electric controls. A piston functions like a valve when operated and is activated pneumatically to release the air in the tank. Once released, the air fills the attached airbag. The leading edge velocity can be controlled by the initial pressure in the tank, which can range up to 960 kPa. Three different test configurations were studied, which resulted in leading edge deployment speeds of approximately 20 m/s, 40 m/s, and 60 m/s. In experiments using this system, seven types of airbags were tested that differed in their material, coating, and presence of a tether. Data for each series of tests is provided. High speed video and film were used to record the deployments, and a pressure transducer measured the airbag's internal pressure.
Journal Article

A Quantitative Safety Assessment Methodology for Safety-Critical Programmable Electronic Systems Using Fault Injection

Given the increased use of programmable embedded electronic systems (PEES) in automotive applications and their vital importance, it is not only important for engineers to design PEES in such a way to meet or exceed safety requirements but also quantify how “safe” these systems are. At the University of Virginia's Center for Safety-Critical Systems, we have developed a safety quantification methodology for embedded real time safety-related systems. The goal of the safety quantification methodology is to provide a generic but rigorous and systematic way of characterizing the dependability behavior of embedded systems that is applicable to a broad range of applications from automotive to nuclear. This paper presents a quantitative safety assessment methodology for safety-critical embedded systems using fault injection (FI). This methodology has been developed, refined and applied to a number of commercial safety-grade systems in the railway, nuclear and avionics industries.
Technical Paper

A Simulation-Based Calibration and Sensitivity Analysis of a Finite Element Model of THOR Head-Neck Complex

The THOR-NT dummy has been developed and continuously improved by NHTSA to provide automotive manufacturers an advanced tool that can be used to assess the injury risk of vehicle occupants in crash tests. With the recent improvements of finite element (FE) technology and the increase of computational power, a validated FE model of THOR may provide an efficient tool for the design optimization of vehicles and their restraint systems. The main goal of this study was to improve biofidelity of a head-neck FE model of THOR-NT dummy. A three-dimensional FE model of the head and neck was developed in LS-Dyna based on the drawings of the THOR dummy. The material properties of deformable parts and the joints properties between rigid parts were assigned initially based on data found in the literature, and then calibrated using optimization techniques.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Vehicle Kinematics, Injuries and Restraints in DRoTS Tests to Match Unconstrained Rollover Crashes

Multiple laboratory dynamic test methods have been developed to evaluate vehicle crashworthiness in rollover crashes. However, dynamic test methods remove some of the characteristics of actual crashes in order to control testing variables. These simplifications to the test make it difficult to compare laboratory tests to crashes. One dynamic method for evaluating vehicle rollover crashworthiness is the Dynamic Rollover Test System (DRoTS), which simulates translational motion with a moving road surface and constrains the vehicle roll axis to a fixed plane within the laboratory. In this study, five DRoTS vehicle tests were performed and compared to a pair of unconstrained steering-induced rollover tests. The kinematic state of the unconstrained vehicles at the initiation of vehicle-to-ground contact was determined using instrumentation and touchdown parameters were matched in the DRoTS tests.
Technical Paper

Analysis of upper extremity response under side air bag loading

Computer simulations, dummy experiments with a new enhanced upper extremity, and small female cadaver experiments were used to analyze the small female upper extremity response under side air bag loading. After establishing the initial position, three tests were performed with the 5th percentile female hybrid III dummy, and six experiments with small female cadaver subjects. A new 5th percentile female enhanced upper extremity was developed for the dummy experiments that included a two-axis wrist load cell in addition to the existing six-axis load cells in both the forearm and humerus. Forearm pronation was also included in the new dummy upper extremity to increase the biofidelity of the interaction with the handgrip. Instrumentation for both the cadaver and dummy tests included accelerometers and magnetohydrodynamic angular rate sensors on the forearm, humerus, upper and lower spine.
Technical Paper

Applying the Intent of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to Vehicles Modified for the Use of Disabled Persons

Since 1966 the federal government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has promulgated regulations governing the crash safety of motor vehicles, with particular attention to passenger cars. However, during the next four years, most of the regulations will also apply to light trucks and vans. There are now 53 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These standards primarily regulate the safety of new vehicles. For many disabled persons, especially those confined to wheelchairs, vehicles must be extensively modified to allow them to drive, or to ride as passengers. The objective of this paper is to examine the safety level intended to be afforded to able bodied persons by the crashworthiness FMVSS and to make observations on the special requirements of modified vehicles to afford the same level of safety to disabled persons. We will emphasize the safety needs of those who use vans since vans are the vehicles most extensively modified.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response and Physical Properties of the Leg, Foot, and Ankle

The anatomical dimensions, inertial properties, and mechanical responses of cadaver leg, foot, and ankle specimens were evaluated relative to those of human volunteers and current anthropometric test devices. Dummy designs tested included the Hybrid III, Hybrid III with soft joint stops, ALEX I, and the GM/FTSS lower limbs. Static and dynamic tests of the leg, foot, and ankle were conducted at the laboratories of the Renault Biomedical Research Department and the University of Virginia. The inertial and geometric properties of the dummy lower limbs were measured and compared with cadaver properties and published volunteer values. Compression tests of the leg were performed using static and dynamic loading to determine compliance of the foot and ankle. Quasi-static rotational properties for dorsiflexion and inversion/eversion motion were obtained for the dummy, cadaver, and volunteer joints of the hindfoot.
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

Comparative Evaluation of Dummy Response with Thor-Lx/HIIIr and Hybrid III Lower Extremities

Multiple series of frontal sled tests were performed to evaluate the new Thor-Lx/HIIIr lower extremity developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for retrofit use on the 50th percentile male Hybrid III. This study's objective was to compare the Thor-Lx/HIIIr to the existing Hybrid III dummy leg (HIII) from the standpoint of repeatability and effects on femur and upper body response values.\ The test-to-test repeatability of the dummy responses, as measured by the coefficient of variation (CV), was generally acceptable (CV < 10%) for all of the test conditions for both legs. Overall, tests with the Thor-Lx/HIIIr legs produced upper body movement and injury criteria values for the head and chest that were acceptably consistent and were generally indistinguishable from those produced with the HIII leg. Low right femur loads, which ranged from 4 to 25 percent of the injury assessment reference value, varied substantially test-to-test for tests with both types of legs.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Kinematic Responses of the Head and Spine for Children and Adults in Low-Speed Frontal Sled Tests

Previous research has suggested that the pediatric ATD spine, developed from scaling the adult ATD spine, may not adequately represent a child's spine and thus may lead to important differences in the ATD head trajectory relative to a human. To gain further insight into this issue, the objectives of this study were, through non-injurious frontal sled tests on human volunteers, to 1) quantify the kinematic responses of the restrained child's head and spine and 2) compare pediatric kinematic responses to those of the adult. Low-speed frontal sled tests were conducted using male human volunteers (20 subjects: 6-14 years old, 10 subjects: 18-40 years old), in which the safety envelope was defined from an amusement park bumper-car impact.
Technical Paper

Comprehensive Computational Rollover Sensitivity Study Part 2: Influence of Vehicle, Crash, and Occupant Parameters on Head, Neck, and Thorax Response

Fatalities resulting from vehicle rollover events account for over one-third of all U.S. motor vehicle occupant fatalities. While a great deal of research has been directed towards the rollover problem, few studies have attempted to determine the sensitivity of occupant injury risk to variations in the vehicle (roof strength), crash (kinematic conditions at roof-to-ground contact), and occupant (anthropometry, position and posture) parameters that define the conditions of the crash. A two-part computational study was developed to examine the sensitivity of injury risk to changes in these parameters. The first part of this study, the Crash Parameter Sensitivity Study (CPSS), demonstrated the influence of parameters describing the vehicle and the crash on vehicle response using LS-DYNA finite element (FE) simulations.
Journal Article

Computer Simulation of Automotive Air Conditioning - Components, System, and Vehicle: Part 2

In 1972, the first SAE paper describing the use of computer simulation as a design tool for automotive air conditioning was written by these authors. Since then, many such simulations have been used and new tools such as CFD have been applied to this problem. This paper reviews the work over that past 35 years and presents several of the improvements in the basic component and system models that have occurred. The areas where “empirical” information is required for model support and the value of CFD cabin and external air flow modeling are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Constitutive Modeling of Polymers Subjected to High Strain Rates

A biaxial test procedure is used to assess the constitutive properties of polymers in tension. The constitutive constants are derived for high strain rate applications such as those associated with crashworthiness studies. The test procedure is used in conjunction with a time- and strain-dependent quasi-linear viscoelastic constitutive law consisting of a Mooney-Rivlin formulation combined with Maxwell elements. The procedure is demonstrated by describing the stress vs. strain relationship of a rubber specimen subjected to a step-relaxation input. The constitutive equation is transformed from a nonlinear convolution integral to a set of first order differential equations. These equations, with the appropriate boundary conditions, are solved numerically to obtain transient stresses in two principal directions. Material constants for use in the explicit LS-Dyna non-linear finite element code are provided.