Brain Injury Prediction for Indy Race Car Drivers Using Finite Element Model of the Human Head



Motorsports Engineering Conference & Exposition
Authors Abstract
The objective of this work was to evaluate a new tool for assessing brain injury. Many race car drivers have suffered concussion and other brain injuries and are in need of ways of evaluating better head protective systems and equipment. Current assessment guidelines such as HIC may not be adequate for assessing all scenarios. Finite element models of the brain have the potential to provide much better injury prediction for any scenario.
At a previous Motorsports conference, results of a MADYMO model of a racing car and driver driven by 3-D accelerations recorded in actual crashes were presented. Model results from nine cases, some with concussion and some not, yielded head accelerations that were used to drive the Wayne State University Head Injury Model (WSUHIM). This model consists of over 310,000 elements and is capable of simulating direct and indirect impacts. It has been extensively validated using published cadaveric test data. Results show high strain and strain rates as a primary cause of concussion sustained by race car drivers. Such a tool can be used to better evaluate head protection devices and systems for race car drivers as well as other incidents involving potential brain injury.
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Zhang, L., Begeman, P., and Melvin, J., "Brain Injury Prediction for Indy Race Car Drivers Using Finite Element Model of the Human Head," SAE Technical Paper 2004-01-3539, 2004,
Additional Details
Nov 30, 2004
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Content Type
Technical Paper