Investigation of Occupant Lower Extremity Injures under Various Overlap Frontal Crashes
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With widely usage of restraint system, fatal injuries to occupants have been largely limited while non-fatal lower extremity injuries have not been effectively improved. The present study aims to investigate occupant lower extremity injuries under realistic impact environments.
A biofidelic lower extremity model, a dummy model and a car cab model were combined to set up a realistic impact environment. Three typical frontal impact groups were simulated. Occupant global lower kinematics, long bone axial force and bending moment were presented to in-depth investigate lower extremity injury mechanism and tolerance.
Various overlap frontal impacts cause totally different lower extremity kinematics in the combination of structural invasion and restraint system effects. The femur fracture occurred at a small axial force of 7.57 kN combing a substantial bending moment peak of 172 Nm. Ankle joint injuries were found in 100 % and 25 % overlap impacts that present large tibial axial force and joint rotation angle.
Overall results indicate that a coupling threshold of femur axial force and bending moment is of rationality to predict global femur fracture. The ankle joint injury occurrence is significantly related to the coupling effects of tibia axial force and excessive self-kinematics.
Key WordsLower extremity Axial force Bending moment Frontal crash Finite elements
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