Verification and injury risk study of FE model of upper limbs in elderly under dynamic loading

  • Hequan WuEmail author
  • Shijie Kuang
  • Haibin Hou
  • Prashant Khandelwal


The ageing population becomes an increasingly serious issue in the world. The number of elderly drivers has also been rising year by year. In order to study the biomechanical response and injury risk of elderly drivers in vehicle collisions. Firstly, the finite element (FE) method is used to establish the upper limb FE model of elderly people with biological fidelity. Based on the experimental data onto cadaver upper limbs in literature, the simulation reliability of the upper limb FE model was verified under dynamic loading. The results showed that the model can accurately reproduce the response and injury to the upper limb of the human body, and obtains the tolerance limits of each part of the FE model of the aged upper limbs were consistent with the cadaver experiment. Moreover, the study used the verified FE model of upper limbs to precede the airbag initiation experiments in order to study the risk of forearm injury at different positions of the airbag. The risk of forearm injury was found related to the crash velocity from distance. Lastly, when an included angle was added between the forearm and the airbag module and the forearm was away from the airbag center. It can reduce the distal velocity of the forearm and thus reduce the risk of upper limb injury.


Elderly driver Upper limb biomechanics Bio-fidelity Injury tolerance limit Injury risk 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51405035), Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018JJ2432) and Scientific Research Fund of Hunan Provincial Education Department (No. 16B015).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Lightweight and Reliability Technology for Engineering Vehicle, Education Department of Hunan ProvinceChangsha University of Science and TechnologyChangshaChina
  2. 2.Bioengineering CenterWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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