Non-Censored Rib Fracture Data during Frontal PMHS Sled Tests

The purpose of this study was to obtain non-censored rib fracture data due to three-point belt loading during dynamic frontal post-mortem human surrogate (PMHS) sled tests. The PMHS responses were then compared to matched tests performed using the Hybrid-III 50th percentile male ATD. Matched dynamic frontal sled tests were performed on two male PMHSs, which were approximately 50th percentile height and weight, and the Hybrid-III 50th percentile male ATD. The sled pulse was designed to match the vehicle acceleration of a standard sedan during a FMVSS-208 40 kph test. Each subject was restrained with a 4 kN load limiting, driver-side, three-point seatbelt. A 59-channel chestband, aligned at the nipple line, was used to quantify the chest contour, anterior-posterior sternum deflection, and maximum anterior-posterior chest deflection for all test subjects. The internal sternum deflection of the ATD was quantified with the sternum potentiometer. For the PMHS tests, a total of 23 single-axis strain gages were attached to the bony structures of the thorax, including the ribs, sternum, and clavicle. In order to create a non-censored data set, the time history of each strain gage was analyzed to determine the timing of each rib fracture and corresponding timing of each AIS level (AIS = 1, 2, 3, etc.) with respect to chest deflection. Peak sternum deflection for PMHS 1 and PMHS 2 were 48.7 mm (19.0%) and 36.7 mm (12.2%), respectively. The peak sternum deflection for the ATD was 20.8 mm when measured by the chest potentiometer and 34.4 mm (12.0%) when measured by the chestband. Although the measured ATD sternum deflections were found to be well below the current thoracic injury criterion (63 mm) specified for the ATD in FMVSS-208, both PMHSs sustained AIS 3+ thoracic injuries. For all subjects, the maximum chest deflection measured by the chestband occurred to the right of the sternum and was found to be 83.0 mm (36.0%) for PMHS 1, 60.6 mm (23.9%) for PMHS 2, and 56.3 mm (20.0%) for the ATD. The non-censored rib fracture data in the current study (n = 2 PMHS) in conjunction with the non-censored rib fracture data from two previous table-top studies (n = 4 PMHS) show that AIS 3+ injury timing occurs prior to peak sternum compression, prior to peak maximum chest compression, and at lower compressions than might be suggested by current PMHS thoracic injury criteria developed using censored rib fracture data. In addition, the maximum chest deflection results showed a more reasonable correlation between deflection, rib fracture timing, and injury severity than sternum deflection. Overall, these data provide compelling empirical evidence that suggests a more conservative thoracic injury criterion could potentially be developed based on non-censored rib fracture data with additional testing performed over a wider range of subjects and loading conditions.


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  • Accession Number: 01611849
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 3 2016 3:01PM