Development of a New Biofidelic Rollover Dummy Neck

Biomechanics / Dummy Development

Catastrophic neck injuries with quadriplegia are a direct result of head interaction with the vehicle roof. In rollover crashes, catastrophic neck compression injuries, as well as neck flexion (bending) injuries with quadriplegia are a direct result of head interaction with the vehicle roof. The crushing roof pushes the head of the occupant down causing the neck to bend or compress which results in tearing of ligaments and disruption of the vertebral bodies. To date, there are US regulatory occupant protection requirements for frontal and side impact crashes, but not for rollovers.

Our objective is to conduct low cost pendulum impact test research and JRS tests as part of an on-going effort to predict and rate real world head, neck and body injury potential with current model vehicles and their rollover occupant protection systems. We have already calibrated a new low durometer neck to the human neck and expect to publish those correlation results soon.

Biomechanical Testing

The Hybrid III dummy that we primarily use is a 50th percentile dummy which means it is the size of an average adult male (5'10" and 171lbs). The Hybrid III dummy, which is generally accepted as the best available human surrogate, is equipped with sensors in its upper and lower neck that allow us to record the amount of force that impacts the dummy's head. We are also able to measure how long the force is applied to the head as well as how far the neck bends as a result of that force. With these measurements we are able to predict the potential for a human neck injury in a rollover. By using the Hybrid III dummy we can conduct tests with repeatable and reliable results that pertain to injury measures. In addition to neck load measurements, high-speed video of the interior of the vehicle during a rollover test allows us to analyze the motion of the occupant during a rollover event.

Dummy pic

Pendulum Testing

Pendulum tests were conducted to determine injury potential from the measurements recorded by the sensors in the Hybrid III neck. The pendulum tests allow us to calibrate the Hybrid III dummy neck to a human neck. We know, from various cadaver drop test studies, the amount and direction of force applied to the head required to injure the human neck. The pendulum test device subjects the dummy to this injurious load and dummy neck measurements were recorded.

Pendulum Dummy testing

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