The Contribution of Pre-impact Posture on Restrained Occupant Finite Element Model Response in Frontal Impact.
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Objective: The objective of this study was to discuss the influence of the pre-impact posture to the response of a finite element human body model (HBM) in frontal impacts. Methods: This study uses previously published cadaveric tests (PMHS), which measured six realistic pre-impact postures. Seven postured models were created from the THUMS occupant model (v4.0): one matching the standard UMTRI driving posture as it was the target posture in the experiments, and six matching the measured pre-impact postures. The same measurements as those obtained during the cadaveric tests were calculated from the simulations, and biofidelity metrics based on signals correlation (CORA) were established to compare the response of the seven models to the experiments. Results: The HBM responses showed good agreement with the PMHS responses for the reaction forces (CORA = 0.80 ± 0.05) and the kinematics of the lower part of the torso but only fair correlation was found with the head, the upper spine, rib strains (CORA= 0.50 ± 0.05) and chest deflections (CORA = 0.67 ± 0.08). All models sustained rib fractures, sternal fracture and clavicle fracture. The average number of rib fractures for all the models was 5.3 ± 1.0, lower than in the experiments (10.8 ± 9.0). Variation in pre-impact posture greatly altered the time histories of the reaction forces, deflections and the rib strains, mainly in terms of time delay, but no definite improvement in HBM response or injury prediction was observed. By modifying only the posture of the HBM, the variability in the impact response was found to be equivalent to that observed in the experiments. The postured HBM sustained from 4 to 8 rib fractures, confirming that the pre-impact posture influenced the injury outcome predicted by the simulation. Conclusions: This study tries to answer an important question: what is the effect of occupant posture on kinematics and kinetics. Significant differences in kinematics observed between HBM and PMHS suggesting more coupling between the pelvis and the spine for the models which makes the model response very sensitive to any variation in the spine posture. Consequently, the findings observed for the HBM cannot be extended to PMHS. Besides, pre-impact posture should be carefully quantified during experiments and the evaluation of HBM should take into account the variation in the predicted impact response due to the variation in the model posture.
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