Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 464–474 | Cite as

Development of Open-Source Dummy and Impactor Models for the Assessment of American Football Helmet Finite Element Models

  • J. Sebastian Giudice
  • Gwansik Park
  • Kevin Kong
  • Ann Bailey
  • Richard Kent
  • Matthew B. PanzerEmail author


The objective of this study was to develop and validate a set of Hybrid-III head and neck (HIII-HN) and impactor models that can be used to assess American football design modifications with established dummy-based injury metrics. The model was validated in two bare-head impact test configurations used by the National Football League and research groups to rank and assess helmet performance. The first configuration was a rigid pendulum impact to three locations on the HIII head (front, rear, side) at 3 m/s. The second configuration was a set of eight 5.5 m/s impacts to the HIII head at different locations using a linear impactor with a compliant end cap. The ISO/TS 18571 objective rating metric was used to quantify the correlation between the experimental and model head kinematics (linear and rotational velocity and acceleration) and neck kinetics (neck force and moment). The HIII-HN model demonstrated good correlation with overall mean ISO scores of 0.69–0.78 in the pendulum impacts and 0.65–0.81 in the linear impacts. These publically available models will serve as an in silico design platform that will be useful for investigating novel football helmet designs and studying human head impact biomechanics, in general.


Hybrid-III Anthropomorphic test device Helmet impact testing Computational model Material properties 



The research presented in this paper was made possible by a grant from Football Research, Inc. (FRI) and Biomechanics Consulting and Research, LLC (Biocore). The views expressed are solely those of the authors and do not represent those of Biocore, FRI, or any of their affiliates or funding sources. The authors would like to thank our collaborators in the “Engineering Roadmap: Numerical Crowdsourcing Project” for their support and feedback of this work (teams from Wake Forest University, University of Waterloo, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology). The authors also acknowledge Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and BioKinetics and Associates, Ltd. for generating the pendulum and linear impactor test data.

Conflict of interest

Co-author Kent is co-owner of Biomechanics Consulting and Research, LLC (Biocore). All other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10439_2018_2155_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (472 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 471 kb)


  1. 1.
    Alshareef, A., J. S. Giudice, J. Forman, R. S. Salzar, and M. B. Panzer. A novel method for quantifying human in situ whole brain deformation under rotational loading using sonomicrometry. J. Neurotrauma 35:780–789, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barbat, S., Y. Fu, Z. Zhan, R.-J. Yang, and C. Gehre. Objective rating metric for dynamic systems. Enhanc. Saf. Veh. Seoul Repub. Korea, 2013. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bartsch, A., E. Benzel, V. Miele, and V. Prakash. Impact test comparisons of 20th and 21st century American football helmets: laboratory investigation. J. Neurosurg. 116:222–233, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beckwith, J. G., R. M. Greenwald, and J. J. Chu. Measuring head kinematics in football: correlation between the head impact telemetry system and hybrid III headform. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 40:237–248, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chang, L.-T., G.-L. Chang, J.-Z. Huang, S.-C. Huang, D.-S. Liu, and C.-H. Chang. Finite element analysis of the effect of motorcycle helmet materials against impact velocity. J. Chin. Inst. Eng. 26:835–843, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cobb, B. R., A. M. Zadnik, and S. Rowson. Comparative analysis of helmeted impact response of Hybrid III and National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment headforms. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part P J. Sports Eng. Technol. 230:50–60, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Davis, M. L., B. Koya, J. M. Schap, and F. S. Gayzik. Development and full body validation of a 5th percentile female finite element model. Stapp Car Crash J. 60:509, 2016.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Funk, J. R., J. Crandall, M. Wonnacott, and C. Withnall. NFL Linear impactor helmet test protocol, 2017. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Funk, J., R. Quesada, A. Miles, and J. Crandall. Inertial properties of football helmets. J. Biomech. Eng. 140(6):061001-1–061001-9, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gabler, L. F., J. R. Crandall, and M. B. Panzer. Development of a metric for predicting brain strain responses using head kinematics. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 46:972–985, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gehre, C., H. Gades, and P. Wernicke. Objective rating of signals using test and simulation responses. Proceedings of the 21th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles Conference (ESV), Stuttgart, Germany, paper 09-0407, 2009.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hallquist, J. O. LS-DYNA keyword user’s manual. Livermore Softw. Technol. Corp. 970, 2007.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hodgson, V. R. National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment football helmet certification program. Med. Sci. Sports 7:225–232, 1975.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kaleps, I., R. P. White Jr., R. M. Beecher, J. Whitestone, and L. A. Obergefell. Measurement of hybrid III dummy properties and analytical simulation data base development. Harry G Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Lab Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 1988.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kaleps, I., and J. Whitestone. Hybrid III geometrical and inertial properties. SAE Technical Paper, 1988.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kostopoulos, V., Y. P. Markopoulos, G. Giannopoulos, and D. E. Vlachos. Finite element analysis of impact damage response of composite motorcycle safety helmets. Compos. Part B Eng. 33:99–107, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mills, N. J., and A. Gilchrist. Finite-element analysis of bicycle helmet oblique impacts. Int. J. Impact Eng. 35:1087–1101, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mills, N. J., S. Wilkes, S. Derler, and A. Flisch. FEA of oblique impact tests on a motorcycle helmet. Int. J. Impact Eng. 36:913–925, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mustafa, H., T. Y. Pang, T. Perret-Ellena, and A. Subic. Finite element bicycle helmet models development. Procedia Technol. 20:91–97, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    National Football League (NFL). 2017 Helmet Laboratory Testing Performance Results., 2017. Scholar
  21. 21.
    National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). Standard test method and equipment used in evaluating the performance characteristics of headgear/equipment (NOCSAE Doc. (ND)002-17m17a), 2017.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Newman, J. A., M. C. Beusenberg, N. Shewchenko, C. Withnall, and E. Fournier. Verification of biomechanical methods employed in a comprehensive study of mild traumatic brain injury and the effectiveness of American football helmets. J. Biomech. 38:1469–1481, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    NHTSA. TP 208-14: Part 572E (50th Male) Dummy Performance Calibration Test Procedure Appendix A, 2008.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pellman, E. J., D. C. Viano, A. M. Tucker, I. R. Casson, and J. F. Waeckerle. Concussion in professional football: reconstruction of game impacts and injuries. Neurosurgery 53:799–814, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pellman, E. J., D. C. Viano, C. Withnall, N. Shewchenko, C. A. Bir, and P. D. Halstead. Concussion in professional football: helmet testing to assess impact performance—part 11. Neurosurgery 58:78–95, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rowson, S., and S. M. Duma. Brain injury prediction: assessing the combined probability of concussion using linear and rotational head acceleration. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 41:873–882, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rowson, B., S. Rowson, and S. M. Duma. Hockey STAR: a methodology for assessing the biomechanical performance of hockey helmets. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 43:2429–2443, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    SAE. User’s Manual for the 50th Percentile Male Hybrid III Test Dummy, 1998.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    SAE, S. J211-1 Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation. SAE Int., 2007.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Spittle, E. K., D. J. Miller, B. W. Shipley Jr, and I. Kaleps. Hybrid II and hybrid III dummy neck properties for computer modeling. Armstrong Lab Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 1992.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Takhounts, E. G., M. J. Craig, K. Moorhouse, J. McFadden, and V. Hasija. Development of brain injury criteria (Br IC). Stapp Car Crash J. 57:243–266, 2013.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Teng, T.-L., C.-L. Liang, and V.-H. Nguyen. Development and validation of finite element model of helmet impact test. J. Des. Appl. 227:82–88, 2013.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Viano, D. C., and E. J. Pellman. Concussion in professional football: biomechanics of the striking player—part 8. Neurosurgery 56:266–280, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Viano, D. C., C. Withnall, and D. Halstead. Impact performance of modern football helmets. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 40:160–174, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Viano, D. C., C. Withnall, and M. Wonnacott. Football helmet drop tests on different fields using an instrumented hybrid III head. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 40:97–105, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wood, G. W., M. B. Panzer, C. R. Bass, and B. S. Myers. Viscoelastic properties of hybrid III head skin. SAE Int. J. Mater. Manuf. 3:186–193, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Sebastian Giudice
    • 1
  • Gwansik Park
    • 2
  • Kevin Kong
    • 1
  • Ann Bailey
    • 2
  • Richard Kent
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew B. Panzer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Center for Applied BiomechanicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Biomechanics Consulting and Research (Biocore), LLCCharlottesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations