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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 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.
Journal Article

Application of Reference Governor Using Soft Constraints and Steepest Descent Method to Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Temperature Control

This paper considers an application of reference governor (RG) to automotive diesel aftertreatment temperature control. Recently, regulations on vehicle emissions have become more stringent, and engine hardware and software are expected to be more complicated. It is getting more difficult to guarantee constraints in control systems as well as good control performance. Among model-based control methods that can directly treat constraints, this paper focuses on the RG, which has recently attracted a lot of attention as one method of model prediction-based control. In the RG, references in tracking control are modified based on future prediction so that the predicted outputs in a closed-loop system satisfy the constraints. This paper proposes an online RG algorithm, taking account of the real-time implementation on engine embedded controllers.
Technical Paper

Assessment of a Three-Point Restraint System with a Pre-tensioned Lap Belt and an Inflatable, Force-Limited Shoulder Belt

This study investigates the performance of a 3-point restraint system incorporating an inflatable shoulder belt with a nominal 2.5-kN load limiter and a non-inflatable lap belt with a pretensioner (the “Airbelt”). Frontal impacts with PMHS in a rear seat environment are presented and the Airbelt system is contrasted with an earlier 3-point system with inflatable lap and shoulder belts but no load-limiter or pretensioners, which was evaluated with human volunteers in the 1970s but not fully reported in the open literature (the “Inflataband”). Key differences between the systems include downward pelvic motion and torso recline with the Inflataband, while the pelvis moved almost horizontally and the torso pitched forward with the Airbelt. One result of these kinematic differences was an overall more biomechanically favorable restraint loading but greater maximum forward head excursion with the Airbelt.
Technical Paper

Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control Incorporating Automatic Braking

Conventional cruise control systems have been in use for many years. Their function is to maintain a preset vehicle speed thus improving the comfort for the driver during steady driving conditions. Most systems achieve this by having a small electronic control unit which monitors vehicle speed and driver interface controls and operates the throttle butterfly to control engine power. Figure 1. Various interlock features are fitted to prevent unwanted engine power increases in the event of a system failure. Cruise control is widely fitted in the North American market, but on the more crowded roads of Western Europe its use is somewhat restricted. The ability to maintain a fixed speed is of limited use when traffic conditions dictate the widely varying speeds that are commonplace in the UK and becoming more common in the rest of Western Europe and North America.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of the Pediatric Abdomen, Part 1: Development of an Experimental Model and Quantification of Structural Response to Dynamic Belt Loading

The abdomen is the second most commonly injured region in children using adult seat belts, but engineers are limited in their efforts to design systems that mitigate these injuries since no current pediatric dummy has the capability to quantify injury risk from loading to the abdomen. This paper develops a porcine (sus scrofa domestica) model of the 6-year-old human's abdomen, and then defines the biomechanical response of this abdominal model. First, a detailed abdominal necropsy study was undertaken, which involved collecting a series of anthropometric measurements and organ masses on 25 swine, ranging in age from 14 to 429 days (4-101 kg mass). These were then compared to the corresponding human quantities to identify the best porcine representation of a 6-year-old human's abdomen. This was determined to be a pig of age 77 days, and whole-body mass of 21.4 kg.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of the Pediatric Abdomen, Part 2: Injuries and Their Correlation with Engineering Parameters

This paper describes the injuries generated during dynamic belt loading to a porcine model of the 6-year-old human abdomen, and correlates injury outcomes with measurable parameters. The test fixture produced transverse, dynamic belt loading on the abdomen of 47 immediately post-mortem juvenile swine at two locations (upper/lower), with penetration magnitudes ranging from 23% – 65% of the undeformed abdominal depth, with and without muscle tensing, and over a belt penetration rate range of 2.9 m/s – 7.8 m/s. All thoracoabdominal injuries were documented in detail and then coded according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). Observed injuries ranged from AIS 1 to AIS 4. The injury distribution matched well the pattern of injuries observed in a large sample of children exposed to seatbelt loading in the field, with most of the injuries in the lower abdomen.
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

Braking Behaviour in Emergencies

Emergency situations rarely occur in a driver's experience and the braking and steering manoeuvres that are then required are usually outside the routine physical behaviour ranges. Immediate reactions are automatic and are therefore unlikely to include physical movements that go beyond these limits. It has always been difficult, however, to prove this because simulators could not create total realism, accident studies do not show brake pedal behaviour and realistic experiments are unethical and dangerous. This paper reviews what is known about driver braking behaviour together with accident studies. Experiments performed by Lucas are described in which pseudo-realistic accident situations are created and braking behaviour modelled.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Belted Hybrid III, THOR, and Cadaver Thoracic Responses in Oblique Frontal and Full Frontal Sled Tests

This paper compares restrained Hybrid III and THOR thoracic kinematics and cadaver injury outcome in 30° oblique frontal and in full frontal sled tests. Peak shoulder belt tension, the primary source of chest loading, changed by less than four percent and peak chest resultant acceleration changed by less than 10% over the 30° range tested. Thoracic kinematics were likewise insensitive to the direction of the collision vector, though they were markedly different between the two dummies. Mid-sternal Hybrid III chest deflection, measured by the standard sternal potentiometer and by supplemental internal string potentiometers, was slightly lower (∼10%) in the oblique tests, but the oblique tests produced a negligible increase in lateral movement of the sternum. In an attempt to understand the biofidelity of these dummy responses, a series of 30-km/h human cadaver tests having several collision vectors (0°, 15°, 30°, 45°) was analyzed.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Finite Element Model of a Vehicle Occupant

A finite element human model has been developed to simulate occupant behavior and to estimate injuries in real-world car crashes. The model represents an average adult male of the US population in a driving posture. Physical geometry, mechanical characteristics and joint structures were replicated as precise as possible. The total number of nodes and materials is around 67,000 and 1,000 respectively. Each part of the model was not only validated against human test data in the literature but also for realistic loading conditions. Additional tests were newly conducted to reproduce realistic loading to human subjects. A data set obtained in human volunteer tests was used for validating the neck part. The head-neck kinematics and responses in low-speed rear impacts were compared between the measured and calculated results. The validity of the lower extremity part was examined by comparing the tibia force in a foot impact between the test data and simulation results.
Technical Paper

Displacement Measurements in the Hybrid III Chest

This paper presents an analysis of the displacement measurement of the Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy chest in quasistatic and dynamic loading environments. In this dummy, the sternal chest deformation is typically characterized using a sliding chest potentiometer, originally designed to measure inward deflection in the central axis of the dummy chest. Loading environments that include other modes of deformation, such as lateral translations or rotations, can create a displacement vector that is not aligned with this sensitive axis. To demonstrate this, the dummy chest was loaded quasistatically and dynamically in a series of tests. A string potentiometer array, with the capability to monitor additional deflection modes, was used to supplement the measurement of the chest slider.
Technical Paper

Elimination of Thoracic Muscle Tensing Effects for Frontal Crash Dummies

Current crash dummy biofidelity standards include the estimated effects of tensing the muscles of the thorax. This study reviewed the decision to incorporate muscle tensing by examining relevant past studies and by using an existing mathematical model of thoracic impacts. The study finds evidence that muscle tensing effects are less pronounced than implied by the biofidelity standard response corridors, that the response corridors were improperly modified to include tensing effects, and that tensing of other body regions, such as extremity bracing, may have a much greater effect on the response and injury potential than tensing of only the thoracic musculature. Based on these findings, it is recommended that muscle tensing should be eliminated from thoracic biofidelity requirements until there is sufficient information regarding multi-region muscle tensing response and the capability to incorporate this new data into a crash dummy.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Analysis of Hard and Soft Tissue Contributions to Thoracic Response: Sensitivity Analysis of Fluctuations in Boundary Conditions

Thoracic trauma is the principle causative factor in 30% of road traffic deaths. Researchers have developed force-deflection corridors of the thorax for various loading conditions in order to elucidate injury mechanisms and to validate the mechanical response of ATDs and numerical human models. A corridor, rather than a single response characteristic, results from the variability inherent in biological experimentation. This response variability is caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors are associated with individual differences among human subjects, e.g., the differences in material properties and in body geometry. The extrinsic sources of variability include fluctuations in the loading and supporting conditions in experimental tests.
Technical Paper

Impact Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests: Skeletal Deformation Patterns Under Seat Belt Loading

This study evaluated the response of restrained post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in 40 km/h frontal sled tests. Eight male PMHS were restrained on a rigid planar seat by a custom 3-point shoulder and lap belt. A video motion tracking system measured three-dimensional trajectories of multiple skeletal sites on the torso allowing quantification of ribcage deformation. Anterior and superior displacement of the lower ribcage may have contributed to sternal fractures occurring early in the event, at displacement levels below those typically considered injurious, suggesting that fracture risk is not fully described by traditional definitions of chest deformation. The methodology presented here produced novel kinematic data that will be useful in developing biofidelic human models.
Technical Paper

Internal vs. External Chest Deformation Response to Shoulder Belt Loading, Part 1: Table-Top Tests

This study presents a detailed comparison of internally and externally measured chest deflections resulting from eight tests conducted on three male post mortem human subjects. A hydraulically driven shoulder belt loaded the anterior thorax under a fixed spine condition while displacement data were obtained via a high-speed 16-camera motion capture system (VICON MX™). Comparison of belt displacement and sternal displacement measured at the bone surface provided a method for quantifying effective change in superficial soft tissue depth at the mid sternum under belt loading. The relationship between the external displacement and the decrease in the effective superficial tissue depth was found to be monotonic and nonlinear. At 65 mm of mid-sternal posterior displacement measured externally, the effective thickness of the superficial tissues and air gap between the belt and the skin had decreased by 14 mm relative to the unloaded state.
Technical Paper

Parametric study of side impact thoracic injury criteria using the MADYMO human body model

This paper presents a computational study of the effects of three parameters on the resulting thoracic injury criteria in side impacts. The parameters evaluated are a) door velocity-time (V-t) profile, b) door interior padding modulus, and c) initial door-to-occupant offset. Regardless of pad modulus, initial offset, or the criterion used to assess injury, higher peak door velocity is shown to correspond with more severe injury. Injury outcome is not, however, found to be sensitive to the door velocity at the time of first occupant contact. A larger initial offset generally is found to result in lower injury, even when the larger offset results in a higher door velocity at occupant contact, because the increased offset results in contact later in the door V-t profile - closer to the point at which the door velocity begins to decrease. Cases of contradictory injury criteria trends are identified, particularly in response to changes in the pad modulus.
Technical Paper

Pediatric Thoracoabdominal Biomechanics

No experimental data exist quantifying the force-deformation behavior of the pediatric chest when subjected to non-impact, dynamic loading from a diagonal belt or a distributed loading surface. Kent et al., (2006) previously published juvenile abdominal response data collected using a porcine model. This paper reports on a series of experiments on a 7-year-old pediatric post-mortem human subject (PMHS) undertaken to guide the scaling of existing adult thoracic response data for application to the child and to assess the validity of the porcine abdominal model. The pediatric PMHS exhibited abdominal response similar to the swine, including the degree of rate sensitivity. The upper abdomen of the PMHS was slightly stiffer than the porcine behavior, while the lower abdomen of the PMHS fit within the porcine corridor. Scaling of adult thoracic response data using any of four published techniques did not successfully predict the pediatric behavior.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: Kinematics and Injury of PMHS Restrained by a Standard 3-Point Belt in Frontal Crashes

Very little experimental research has focused on the kinematics, dynamics, and injuries of rear-seated occupants. This study seeks to develop a baseline response for rear-seated post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) in frontal crashes. Three PMHS sled tests were performed in a sled buck designed to represent the interior rear-seat compartment of a contemporary midsized sedan. All occupants were positioned in the right-rear passenger seat and subjected to simulated frontal crashes with an impact speed of 48 km/h. The subjects were restrained by a standard, rear seat, 3-point seat belt. The response of each subject was evaluated in terms of whole-body kinematics, dynamics, and injury. All the PMHS experienced excessive forward translation of the pelvis resulting in a backward rotation of the torso at the time of maximum forward excursion.