Whole Body PMHS Response in Injurious Experimental Accelerative Loading Events


Previous studies involving whole-body post-mortem human surrogates (PHMS) have generated biomechanical response specifications for physically simulated accelerative loading intended to reproduce seat and floor velocity histories occurring in under-body blast (UBB) events (e.g.,. References 10, 11, 21 These previous studies employed loading conditions that only rarely produced injuries to the foot/ankle and pelvis, which are body regions of interest for injury assessment in staged UBB testing using anthropomorphic test devices. To investigate more injurious whole-body conditions, three series of tests were conducted with PMHS that were equipped with military personal protective equipment and seated in an upright posture. These tests used higher velocity and shorter duration floor and seat inputs than were previously used with the goal of producing pelvis and foot/ankle fractures. A total of nine PMHS that were approximately midsize in stature and mass were equally allocated across three loading conditions, including a 15.5 m/s, 2.5 ms time-to-peak (TTP) floor velocity pulse with a 10 m/s, 7.5 ms TTP seat pulse; a 13 m/s, 2.5 ms TTP floor pulse with a 9.0 m/s, 5 ms TTP seat pulse; and a 10 m/s, 2.5 ms TTP floor pulse with a 6.5 m/s, 7.5 ms TTP seat pulse. In the first two conditions, the seat was padded with a ~ 120-mm-thick foam cushion to elongate the pulse experienced by the PMHS. Of the nine PMHS tests, five resulted in pelvic ring fractures, five resulted in a total of eight foot/ankle fractures (i.e., two unilateral and three bilateral fractures), and one produced a femur fracture. Test results were used to develop corridors describing the variability in kinematics and in forces applied to the feet, forces applied to the pelvis and buttocks in rigid seat tests, and in forces applied to the seat foam in padded seat tests. These corridors and the body-region specific injury/no-injury response data can be used to assess the performance and predictive capability of anthropomorphic test devices and computational models used as human surrogates in simulated UBB testing.

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This work was conducted as part of the Biomechanics Product Team lead by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for the WIAMan project and funded by the US Army DEVCOM Data and Analysis Center. The authors also offer solemn thanks and gratitude to the subjects, without whom this work could not have been possible, and whose contribution to the betterment of society will live on long after their death.

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Rupp, J.D., Zaseck, L., Miller, C.S. et al. Whole Body PMHS Response in Injurious Experimental Accelerative Loading Events. Ann Biomed Eng (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-021-02803-1

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  • Under-body blast
  • Vertical accelerative loading
  • WIAMan
  • Biofidelity
  • Anthropomorphic test device
  • PMHS