Novel apparatus for evaluation of head and neck injury



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Texas Tech University


Since the implementation of the dynamic test requirements, there has been increased interest among seat manufacturers in development of new energy absorbing seat concepts with lower weight and cost. Such energy absorbing seats mitigate head injury during crashes. The most effective mdicator of flight-worthy seats is the Head Injury Criterion. This criterion is a measure of head injury tolerance to mechanical impact during a 10-G dynamic test. Currently, such test procedures involve three anthropomorphic test devices (ATD) and two rows of seats in crash test facilities. These tests cost seat manufacturers about 2-3 million dollars per year. Thus, the motivation of this research was to develop a novel cost effective apparatus with similar fiinctionalities as a full-scale test apparatus. Hence, the objectives of this research included (1) design of a novel apparatus to simulate force profiles of a crash condition, (2) design of an ATD head-neck complex, and (3) preliminary investigation of the dynamic behavior of the head and neck based on a parametric experimental approach. The test apparatus introduced in this project utilizes a weight-pulley system, which is the driving force for the sled. The constructed design allows for the attainment of speeds up to 44 ft/s (as required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Five kinds of data are extracted from this test apparatus, namely, impact pulse shape, total velocity change, HIC, seat back deformation, and head-neck complex position. The apparatus was shown to be cost effective while providing repeatable and efficient results. The preliminary results confirmed apparatus could be used as test apparatus.



Speed -- Velocity measurements, Neck -- Wounds and injuries, Head -- Wounds and injuries, Accidents -- Airplane -- Automobile