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International Journal of Vehicle Safety (2 papers in press)
Essential factors leading to a traumatic brain injury during low-speed fender vault pedestrian impacts by Atsutaka Tamura, King-Hay Yang Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of serious and fatal injuries in car-to-pedestrian accidents. We used finite element models to perform a series of low-speed fender vault pedestrian impact simulations with the aim of reconstructing the primary impact phase and the final event of ground contact. We found that when compared with a sedan, a sport utility vehicle more aggressively increased the potential severity of TBI (P < 0.05). In a low-speed collision, a medium level of braking deceleration (0.6 g) was found to significantly better protect the pedestrians head when compared with low (0.3 g) and high (0.9 g) brake pulses (P < 0.05), suggesting that a reasonable vehicle-to-pedestrian mechanical interaction is required to achieve a soft landing during the ground impact phase. The vehicle front-end design and proper brake deceleration control are essential contributors to a reduced TBI risk in low-speed fender vault pedestrian impact cases. Keywords: pedestrian; traumatic brain injury; sport utility vehicle; sedan; fender vault impact.
Further investigation of the applicability of head injury criterion and the associated scaling laws with finite element modelling by Shijie Ruan, Wei Zhao, Haiyan Li, Shihai Cui, Lijuan He Abstract: Head Injury Criterion (HIC) has been widely accepted as a practical tool in design for head protection in sports and automotive industry. Scaling laws were used to derive the Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARVs) for HICs of all other dummies that are not 50th percentile based. However, controversy about HIC still exists and the validity of the associated scaling laws also has not been completely tested. These factors call for a thorough exploration of the applicability of HIC and the validity of the associated scaling laws. Accordingly, the current study was conducted through finite element (FE) modelling. Three different-sized (5th, 50th, 95th percentile) head models were developed from medical CT scan images of living humans to preserve their realistic geometric characteristics. These three original models were scaled from one to another to generate six scaled models. The skulls of these nine models were defined as deformable and rigid bodies, respectively, to have the deformable group and rigid body group. Models in each group were subject to impact condition at the same injury severity. Intracranial responses at stress and strain level were examined. It was found that both coup and contrecoup pressures decreased from the smaller head to the larger one when the skulls were deformable; the opposite trends were found when the skulls were defined as rigid bodies. Maximum principal strains and maximum share stresses increased from the smaller head to the larger one for both deformable and rigid skulls with much larger increases in the rigid skull cases. It also found that there were larger discrepancies in intracranial responses between scaled models and the original ones, which invalidate the scaling laws used in biomechanical injury studies. New head injury criteria are proposed based on the study results. Keywords: head injury criterion; scaling laws; head sizes; intracranial responses; finite element model.