Assessment of the Pubic Force as a Pelvic Injury Criterion in Side Impact



51st Stapp Car Crash Conference
Authors Abstract


In the literature, injuries at the ischio or ilio pubic ramus level are reported to occur to approximately ¾ of the occupants injured at the pelvis during side impact. Assuming that the load going through the pubis was a good indicator of the ramus stress, the pubic force was widely accepted as a protection criterion for pelvic fractures on side impact dummies. However, no data regarding the actual loads going through the pubis is currently available in the literature for Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) in dynamic conditions.
The goal of this study was to determine pelvic biofidelity specifications in terms of load path, to evaluate the pertinence of the pubic force as a criterion, and to develop a pelvic injury risk curve as a function of the pubic force. For that purpose, a pubic load cell was developed for PMHS use, and 16 side impact tests were performed on 8 PMHS using boundary conditions similar to impactor tests and sled tests reported in the literature. One kind of impact was applied on one side of a subject and the other kind of impact was then applied on the other side of the same subject, at non injury severities. The ratio between the peak external force and the peak pubic force was calculated for each subject, and a mean ratio was then calculated for each of the test conditions. These ratios were finally used to calculate the pubic forces from the external pelvic forces for 90 PMHS side impact test data available in the literature. Injury risk curves as a function of the pubic force were developed from these data.
Two normalized pubic force corridors from the 16 tests are presented, the first one for the impactor tests, the second one for the sled-like tests. The test results show statistically different ratios between the peak external force and the peak pubic force, for the two configurations (an average ratio of 3.3 for impactor tests and 4.6 for sled-like tests). The PMHS injury risk curves based on the external pelvic force were observed to depend on the test conditions (impactor versus sled) while the injury risk curves constructed using the calculated pubic load were not. Therefore, the pubic force is considered as a more pertinent injury criterion for pure lateral impact.
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Leport, T., Baudrit, P., Trosseille, X., Petit, P. et al., "Assessment of the Pubic Force as a Pelvic Injury Criterion in Side Impact," SAE Technical Paper 2007-22-0019, 2007,
Additional Details
Oct 29, 2007
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Technical Paper