Biomechanical Responses and Injury Assessment of Post Mortem Human Subjects in Various Rear-facing Seating Configurations



64th Stapp Car Crash Conference
Authors Abstract
The objective of this study was to generate biomechanical corridors from post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in two different seatback recline angles in 56 km/h sled tests simulating a rear-facing occupant during a frontal vehicle impact. PMHS were placed in a production seat which included an integrated seat belt. To achieve a repeatable configuration, the seat was rigidized in the rearward direction using a reinforcing frame that allowed for adjustability in both seatback recline angle and head restraint position. The frame contained instrumentation to measure occupant loads applied to the head restraint and seatback. To measure PMHS kinematics, the head, spine, pelvis, and lower extremities were instrumented with accelerometers and angular rate sensors. Strain gages were attached to anterior and posterior aspects of the ribs, as well as the mid-shaft of the femora and tibiae, to determine fracture timing. A chestband was installed at the mid sternum to quantify chest deformation. Biomechanical corridors for each body and seat location were generated for each recline angle to provide data for quantitatively evaluating the biofidelity of ATDs and HBMs. Injuries included upper extremity injuries, rib fractures, pelvis fractures, and lower extremity injuries. More injuries were documented in the 45-degree recline case than in the 25-degree recline case. These injuries are likely due to the excessive ramping up and corresponding kinematics of the PMHS. Biomechanical corridors and injury information presented in this study could guide the design of HBMs and ATDs in rigid, reclined, rear-facing seating configurations during a high-speed frontal impact.
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Kang, Y., Stammen, J., Ramachandra, R., Agnew, A. et al., "Biomechanical Responses and Injury Assessment of Post Mortem Human Subjects in Various Rear-facing Seating Configurations," SAE Technical Paper 2020-22-0005, 2021,
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Apr 2, 2021
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Technical Paper