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Biomechanical Considerations for Abdominal Loading by Seat Belt Pretensioners
Published November 03, 2010 by The Stapp Association in United States
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While seat belts are the most effective safety technology in vehicles today, there are continual efforts in the industry to improve their ability to reduce the risk of injury. In this paper, seat belt pretensioners and current trends towards more powerful systems were reviewed and analyzed. These more powerful systems may be, among other things, systems that develop higher belt forces, systems that remove slack from belt webbing at higher retraction speeds, or both.
The analysis started with validation of the Ford Human Body Finite Element Model for use in evaluation of abdominal belt loading by pretensioners. The model was then used to show that those studies, done with lap-only belts, can be used to establish injury metrics for tests done with lap-shoulder belts. Then, previously performed PMHS studies were used to develop AIS 2+ and AIS 3+ injury risk curves for abdominal interaction with seat belts via logistic regression and reliability analysis with interval censoring. Finally, some considerations were developed for a possible laboratory test to evaluate higher-powered pretensioners.