Development of response surface data on the head injury criteria associated with various aircraft and automotive head impact scenarios

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Nallan Chakravarthy, Prasanna Vadanan
Lankarani, Hamid M.
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Safety of passengers in both automotive and aircraft is always looked upon for more advancement in providing better safety and minimizing the injuries/fatalities during crashes. Among the injuries which are incurred onto the occupants in aviation and automotive accidents, the head injuries are the most fatal and severe type of injury. In aircraft accidents, mostly in the event of air turbulence or emergency landing, the passengers seated behind bulkheads or interior walls have a higher chance of head impact onto these structures. Similarly, the vehicle safety is considered to be quiet important for automobile manufacturers as well as customers. Among all automobile crashes, frontal impact collisions are the most common types of crash scenario. The most observed injuries in these crashes are caused by the impact of the head to the steering wheel, windshield, etc. This thesis presents an investigation and development of response surface data on the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) during frontal crashes in both automotive and aircraft accidents. Consideration is made relative to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) for the aircraft industry and the US-NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) protocol for frontal impact crashes in automotive industry. For this purpose, a hybrid III 50th percentile dummy is utilized in the occupant modeling code MADYMO to investigate the variations of the HIC with different parameters such as impact speed, impact angle, seat belt properties, seat pitch distances, and stiffness or material properties of the impact surface. Finally, a Design-of-Experiments (DOE)/Kriging model is utilized to generate response surface data on the HIC, using the sample results obtained from the MADYMO computer models. The collective results of the many simulations as surface plots from this study could be of significant use to the designers of automotive seats and aircraft interiors and in coming up with the most promising designs for occupant head impact protection in various frontal crash scenarios.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Wichita State University
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