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Journal articleFarajzadeh Khosroshahi S, Yin X, Donat C, et al., 2021,
Multiscale modelling of cerebrovascular injury reveals the role of vascular anatomy and parenchymal shear stresses, Scientific Reports, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2045-2322
Neurovascular injury is often observed in traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the relationship between mechanical forces and vascular injury is still unclear. A key question is whether the complex anatomy of vasculature plays a role in increasing forces in cerebral vessels and producing damage. We developed a high-fidelity multiscale finite element model of the rat brain featuring a detailed definition of the angioarchitecture. Controlled cortical impacts were performed experimentally and in-silico. The model was able to predict the pattern of blood–brain barrier damage. We found strong correlation between the area of fibrinogen extravasation and the brain area where axial strain in vessels exceeds 0.14. Our results showed that adjacent vessels can sustain profoundly different axial stresses depending on their alignment with the principal direction of stress in parenchyma, with a better alignment leading to larger stresses in vessels. We also found a strong correlation between axial stress in vessels and the shearing component of the stress wave in parenchyma. Our multiscale computational approach explains the unrecognised role of the vascular anatomy and shear stresses in producing distinct distribution of large forces in vasculature. This new understanding can contribute to improving TBI diagnosis and prevention.
Journal articleAbayazid F, Ding K, Zimmerman K, et al., 2021,
A new assessment of bicycle helmets: the brain injury mitigation effects of new technologies in oblique impacts, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 49, Pages: 2716-2733, ISSN: 0090-6964
New helmet technologies have been developed to improve the mitigation of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in bicycle accidents. However, their effectiveness under oblique impacts, which produce more strains in the brain in comparison with vertical impacts adopted by helmet standards, is still unclear. Here we used a new method to assess the brain injury prevention effects of 27 bicycle helmets in oblique impacts, including helmets fitted with a friction-reducing layer (MIPS), a shearing pad (SPIN), a wavy cellular liner (WaveCel), an airbag helmet (Hövding) and a number of conventional helmets. We tested whether helmets fitted with the new technologies can provide better brain protection than conventional helmets. Each helmeted headform was dropped onto a 45° inclined anvil at 6.3 m/s at three locations, with each impact location producing a dominant head rotation about one anatomical axes of the head. A detailed computational model of TBI was used to determine strain distribution across the brain and in key anatomical regions, the corpus callosum and sulci. Our results show that, in comparison with conventional helmets, the majority of helmets incorporating new technologies significantly reduced peak rotational acceleration and velocity and maximal strain in corpus callosum and sulci. Only one helmet with MIPS significantly increased strain in the corpus collosum. The helmets fitted with MIPS and WaveCel were more effective in reducing strain in impacts producing sagittal rotations and a helmet fitted with SPIN in coronal rotations. The airbag helmet was effective in reducing brain strain in all impacts, however, peak rotational velocity and brain strain heavily depended on the analysis time. These results suggest that incorporating different impact locations in future oblique impact test methods and designing helmet technologies for the mitigation of head rotation in different planes are key to reducing brain injuries in bicycle accidents.
Journal articleDuckworth H, Sharp DJ, Ghajari M, 2021,
Smoothed particle hydrodynamic modelling of the cerebrospinal fluid for brain biomechanics: accuracy and stability, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 37, ISSN: 1069-8299
The Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) can undergo shear deformations under head motions. Finite Element (FE) models, which are commonly used to simulate biomechanics of the brain, including traumatic brain injury, employ solid elements to represent the CSF. However, the limited number of elements paired with shear deformations in CSF can decrease the accuracy of their predictions. Large deformation problems can be accurately modelled using the mesh-free Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method, but there is limited previous work on using this method for modelling the CSF. Here we explored the stability and accuracy of key modelling parameters of an SPH model of the CSF when predicting relative brain/skull displacements in a simulation of an in vivo mild head impact in human. The Moving Least Squares (MLS) SPH formulation and Ogden rubber material model were found to be the most accurate and stable. The strain and strain rate in the brain differed across the SPH and FE models of CSF. The FE mesh anchored the gyri, preventing them from experiencing the level of strains seen in the in vivo brain experiments and predicted by the SPH model. Additionally, SPH showed higher levels of strains in the sulci compared to the FE model. However, tensile instability was found to be a key challenge of the SPH method, which needs to be addressed in future. Our study provides a detailed investigation of the use of SPH and shows its potential for improving the accuracy of computational models of brain biomechanics.
Journal articleZimmerman K, Kim J, Karton C, et al., 2021,
Player position in American Football influences the magnitude of mechanical strains produced in the location of chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology: a computational modelling study, Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 118, ISSN: 0021-9290
American football players are frequently exposed to head impacts, which can cause concussions and may lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Player position appears to influence the risk of concussion but there is limited work on its effect on the risk of CTE. Computational modelling has shown that large brain deformations during head impacts co-localise with CTE pathology in sulci. Here we test whether player position has an effect on brain deformation within the sulci, a possible biomechanical trigger for CTE. We physically reconstructed 148 head impact events from video footage of American Football games. Players were separated into 3 different position profiles based on the magnitude and frequency of impacts. A detailed finite element model of TBI was then used to predict Green-Lagrange strain and strain rate across the brain and in sulci. Using a one-way ANOVA, we found that in positions where players were exposed to large magnitude and low frequency impacts (e.g. defensive back and wide receiver), strain and strain rate across the brain and in sulci were highest. We also found that rotational head motion is a key determinant in producing large strains and strain rates in the sulci. Our results suggest that player position has a significant effect on impact kinematics, influencing the magnitude of deformations within sulci, which spatially corresponds to where CTE pathology is observed. This work can inform future studies investigating different player-position risks for concussion and CTE and guide design of prevention systems.
Journal articleFahlstedt M, Abayazid F, Panzer MB, et al., 2021,
Ranking and rating bicycle helmet safety performance in oblique impacts using eight different brain injury models, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 49, Pages: 1097-1109, ISSN: 0090-6964
Bicycle helmets are shown to offer protection against head injuries. Rating methods and test standards are used to evaluate different helmet designs and safety performance. Both strain-based injury criteria obtained from finite element brain injury models and metrics derived from global kinematic responses can be used to evaluate helmet safety performance. Little is known about how different injury models or injury metrics would rank and rate different helmets. The objective of this study was to determine how eight brain models and eight metrics based on global kinematics rank and rate a large number of bicycle helmets (n=17) subjected to oblique impacts. The results showed that the ranking and rating are influenced by the choice of model and metric. Kendall’s tau varied between 0.50 and 0.95 when the ranking was based on maximum principal strain from brain models. One specific helmet was rated as 2-star when using one brain model but as 4-star by another model. This could cause confusion for consumers rather than inform them of the relative safety performance of a helmet. Therefore, we suggest that the biomechanics community should create a norm or recommendation for future ranking and rating methods.
Journal articleDonat C, Yanez Lopez M, Sastre M, et al., 2021,
From biomechanics to pathology: predicting axonal injury from patterns of strain after traumatic brain injury., Brain: a journal of neurology, Vol: 144, Pages: 70-91, ISSN: 0006-8950
The relationship between biomechanical forces and neuropathology is key to understanding traumatic brain injury. White matter tracts are damaged by high shear forces during impact, resulting in axonal injury, a key determinant of long-term clinical outcomes. However, the relationship between biomechanical forces and patterns of white matter injuries, associated with persistent diffusion MRI abnormalities, is poorly understood. This limits the ability to predict the severity of head injuries and the design of appropriate protection. Our previously developed human finite element model of head injury predicted the location of post-traumatic neurodegeneration. A similar rat model now allows us to experimentally test whether strain patterns calculated by the model predicts in vivo MRI and histology changes. Using a Controlled Cortical Impact, mild and moderate injuries(1 and 2 mm) were performed. Focal and axonal injuries were quantified withvolumetric and diffusion 9.4T MRI two weeks post injury. Detailed analysis of the corpus callosum was conducted using multi-shell diffusion MRI and histopathology. Microglia and astrocyte density, including process parameters,along with white matter structural integrity and neurofilament expression were determined by quantitative immunohistochemistry. Linear mixed effects regression analyses for strain and strain rate with the employed outcome measures were used to ascertain how well immediate biomechanics could explain MRI and histology changes.The spatial pattern of mechanical strain and strain rate in the injured cortex shows good agreement with the probability maps of focal lesions derived from volumetric MRI. Diffusion metrics showed abnormalities in segments of the corpus callosum predicted to have a high strain, indicating white matter changes. The same segments also exhibited a severity-dependent increase in glia cell density, white matter thinning
Journal articleYu X, Azor A, Sharp DJ, et al., 2020,
Mechanisms of blast-induced Traumatic Brain Injury (BTBI), particularly those linked to the primary pressure wave, are still not fully understood. One possible BTBI mechanism is cavitation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) caused by CSF tensile failure, which is likely to increase strain and strain rate in the brain tissue near the CSF. Blast loading of the head can generate rarefaction (expansion) waves and rapid head motion, which both can produce tensile forces in the CSF. However, it is not clear which of these mechanisms is more likely to cause CSF tensile failure. In this study, we used a high-fidelity 3-dimensional computational model of the human head to test whether the CSF tensile failure increases brain deformation near the brain/CSF boundary and to determine the key failure mechanisms. We exposed the head model to a frontal blast wave and predicted strain and strain rate distribution in the cortex. We found that CSF tensile failure significantly increased strain and strain rate in the cortex. We then studied whether the rapid head motion or the rarefaction wave causes strain and strain rate concentration in cortex. We isolated these two effects by conducting simulations with pure head motion loading (i.e. prescribing the skull velocity but eliminating the pressure wave) and pure blast wave loading (i.e. eliminating head motion by fixing the skull base). Our results showed that the strain increase in the cortex was mainly caused by head motion. In contrast, strain rate increase was caused by both rapid head motion and rarefaction waves, but head motion had a stronger effect on elevating strain rate. Our results show that rapid motion of the head produced by blast wave is the key mechanism for CSF tensile failure and subsequent concentration of strain and strain rate in cortex. This finding suggests that mitigation of rapid head motion caused by blast loading needs to be addressed in the design of protective equipment in order to prevent the tensile failure
Journal articleAbayazid F, Ghajari M, 2020,
Material characterisation of additively manufactured elastomers at different strain rates and build orientations, Additive Manufacturing, Vol: 33, ISSN: 2214-8604
Material jetting, particularly PolyJet technology, is an additive manufacturing (AM) process which has introduced novel flexible elastomers used in bio-inspired soft robots, compliant structures and dampers. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a key tool for the development of such applications, which requires comprehensive material characterisation utilising advanced material models. However, in contrast to conventional rubbers, PolyJet elastomers have been less explored leading to a few material models with various limitations in fidelity. Therefore, one aim of this study was to characterise the mechanical response of the latest PolyJet elastomers, Agilus30 (A30) and Tango+ (T+), under large strain tension-compression and time-dependent high-frequency/relaxation loadings. Another aim was to calibrate a visco-hyperelastic material model to accurately predict these responses. Tensile, compressive, cyclic, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and stress relaxation tests were carried out on pristine A30 and T+ samples. Quasi-static tension-compression tests were used to calibrate a 3-term Ogden hyperelastic model. Stress relaxation and DMA results were combined to determine the constants of a 5-term Prony series across a large window of relaxation time (10 μs–100 s). A numerical time-stepping scheme was employed to predict the visco-hyperelastic response of the 3D-printed elastomers at large strains and different strain rates. In addition, the anisotropy in the elastomers, which stemmed from build orientation, was explored. Highly nonlinear stress-strain relationships were observed in both elastomers, with a strong dependency on strain rate. Relaxation tests revealed that A30 and T+ elastomers relax to 50 % and 70 % of their peak stress values respectively in less than 20 s. The effect of orientation on the loading response was most pronounced with prints along the Z-direction, particularly at large strains and lower strain rates. Moreover, the visco-hyperelastic m
Journal articleSoleiman Fallah A, Ghajari M, Safa Y, 2019,
Morphing blades have been promising in lifting restrictions on rated capacity of wind turbines and improving lift-to-drag ratio for aircraft wings at higher operational angles of attack. The present study focuses on one aspect of the response of morphing blades viz. dynamic delamination. A numerical study of delamination in morphing composite blades is conducted. Both components i.e. the composite part and the stiffener are studied. The eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and nonlocal continuum mechanics (peridynamics) have both been used to study fracture in the isotropic stiffener used in conjunction with the blade. As for the composite morphing blade, cohesive elements are used to represent the interlaminar weak zone and delamination has been studied under dynamic pulse loads. Intraply damage is studied using the nonlocal model as the peridynamic model is capable of addressing the problem adequately for the necessary level of sophistication.The differences and similarities between delamination patterns for impulsive, dynamic, and quasi-static loadings are appreciated and in each case detailed analyses of delamination patterns are presented. The dependence of delamination pattern on loading regime is established, however; further parametric studies are not included as they lie beyond the scope of the study. Through the use of fracture energy alone the nonlocal model is capable of capturing intra- and interlaminar fractures. The proposed modelling scheme can thus have a major impact in design applications where dynamic pulse and impact loads of all natures (accidental, extreme, service, etc.) are to be considered and may therefore be utilised in design of lightweight morphing blades and wings where delamination failure mode is an issue.
Journal articleFarajzadeh Khosroshahi S, Duckworth H, Galvanetto U, et al., 2019,
This paper evaluates the effects of topology and relative density of helmet lattice liners on mitigating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Finite element (FE) models of new lattice liners with prismatic and tetrahedral topologies were developed. A typical frontal head impact in motorcycle accidents was simulated, and linear and rotational accelerations of the head were recorded. A high-fidelity FE model of TBI was loaded with the accelerations to predict the brain response during the accident. The results show that prismatic lattices have better performance in preventing TBI than tetrahedral lattices and EPS that is typically used in helmets. Moreover, varying the cell size through the thickness of the liner improves its performance, but this effect was marginal. The relative density also has a significant effect, with lattices with lower relative densities providing a better protection. Across different lattices studied here, the prismatic lattice with a relative density of 6% had the best performance and reduced the peak linear and rotational accelerations, Head Injury Criterion (HIC), brain strain and strain rate by 48%, 37%, 49%, 32% and 65% respectively, compared to the EPS liner. These results can be used to guide the design of lattice helmet liners for better mitigation of TBI.
Journal articleYu X, Ghajari M, 2019,
Blast-induced Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been affecting combatants and civilians. The blast pressure wave is thought to have a significant contribution to blast related TBI. Due to the limitations and difficulties of conducting blast tests on surrogates, computational modelling has been used as a key method for exploring this field. However, the blast wave modelling methods reported in current literature have drawbacks. They either cannot generate the desirable blast pressure wave history, or they are unable to accurately simulate the blast wave/structure interaction. In addition, boundary conditions, which can have significant effects on model predictions, have not been described adequately. Here, we critically assess the commonly used methods for simulating blast wave propagation in air (open-field blast) and its interaction with the human body. We investigate the predicted blast wave time history, blast wave transmission and the effects of various boundary conditions in 3 dimensional (3D) models of blast prediction. We propose a suitable meshing topology, which enables accurate prediction of blast wave propagation and interaction with the human head and significantly decreases the computational cost in 3D simulations. Finally, we predict strain and strain rate in the human brain during blast wave exposure and show the influence of the blast wave modelling methods on the brain response. The findings presented here can serve as guidelines for accurately modelling blast wave generation and interaction with the human body for injury biomechanics studies and design of prevention systems.
Journal articleKhosroshahi SF, Ghajari M, Galvanetto U, 2019,
Assessment of the protective performance of neck braces for motorcycle riders: a finite-element study, International Journal of Crashworthiness, Vol: 24, Pages: 487-498, ISSN: 1358-8265
Neck protective devices for motorcyclists have been introduced fairly recently but there is no standard method to evaluate their performance. The goal of this study is to compare the response of riders’ necks to direct impacts on the helmet with and without such a device. We investigate three common types of cervical injury mechanisms i.e. hyperflexion, hyperextension and lateral bending using finite-element method. The rotational movement of the head with respect to the torso, the neck shearing and axial loads and the stress distribution throughout the cervical vertebrae show that using the investigated type of neck protective device, which is designed to restrain the head–neck motion, can in some cases increase the risk of neck injury. Hence, the design of such devices needs further study and their assessment requires the introduction of relevant standards of evaluation.
Journal articleWhyte T, Stuart C, Mallory A, et al., 2019,
A review of impact testing methods for headgear in sports: considerations for improved prevention of head injury through research and standards, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol: 141, ISSN: 0148-0731
Standards for sports headgear were introduced as far back as the 1960s and many have remained substantially unchanged to present day. Since this time, headgear has virtually eliminated catastrophic head injuries such as skull fractures and changed the landscape of head injuries in sports. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is now a prevalent concern and the effectiveness of headgear in mitigating mTBI is inconclusive for most sports. Given that most current headgear standards are confined to attenuating linear head mechanics and recent brain injury studies have underscored the importance of angular mechanics in the genesis of mTBI, new or expanded standards are needed to foster headgear development and assess headgear performance that addresses all types of sport-related head and brain injuries. The aim of this review is to provide a basis for developing new sports headgear impact tests for standards by summarizing and critiquing: 1) impact testing procedures currently codified in published headgear standards for sports and 2) new or proposed headgear impact test procedures in published literature and/or relevant conferences. Research areas identified as needing further knowledge to support standards test development include defining sports-specific head impact conditions, establishing injury and age appropriate headgear assessment criteria, and the development of headgear specific head and neck surrogates for at-risk populations.
Journal articleSiegkas P, Sharp D, Ghajari M, 2019,
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects millions of people worldwide with significant personal and social consequences. New materials and methods offer opportunities for improving designs of TBI prevention systems, such as helmets. We combined empirical impact tests and computational modelling to test the effectiveness of new viscoelastic add-on components in decreasing biomechanical forces within the brain during helmeted head impacts. Motorcycle helmets with and without the viscoelastic components were fitted on a head/neck assembly and were tested under oblique impact to replicate realistic accident conditions. Translational and rotational accelerations were measured during the tests. The inclusion of components reduced peak accelerations, with a significant effect for frontal impacts and a marginal effect for side and rear impacts. The head accelerations were then applied on a computational model of TBI to predict strain and strain-rate across the brain. The presence of viscoelastic components in the helmet decreased strain and strain-rate for frontal impacts at low impact speeds. The effect was less pronounced for front impact at high speeds and for side and rear impacts. This work shows the potential of the viscoelastic add-on components as lightweight and cost-effective solutions for enhancing helmet protection and decreasing strain and strain-rate across the brain during head impacts.
Journal articleWang H, Kow J, Raske N, et al., 2017,
Tactile sensors are essential for robotic systems to interact safely and effectively with the external world, they also play a vital role in some smart healthcare systems. Despite advances in areas including materials/composites, electronics and fabrication techniques, it remains challenging to develop low cost, high performance, durable, robust, soft tactile sensors for real-world applications. This paper presents the first Soft Inductive Tactile Sensor (SITS) which exploits an inductance-transducer mechanism based on the eddy-current effect. SITSs measure the inductance variation caused by changes in AC magnetic field coupling between coils and conductive films. Design methodologies for SITSs are discussed by drawing on the underlying physics and computational models, which are used to develop a range of SITS prototypes. An exemplar prototype achieves a state-of-the-art resolution of 0.82 mN with a measurement range over 15 N. Further tests demonstrate that SITSs have low hysteresis, good repeatability, wide bandwidth, and an ability to operate in harsh environments. Moreover, they can be readily fabricated in a durable form and their design is inherently extensible as highlighted by a 4 × 4 SITS array prototype. These outcomes show the potential of SITS systems to further advance tactile sensing solutions for integration into demanding real-world applications.
Journal articlede Boer G, Raske N, Wang H, et al., 2017,
This paper investigates the design optimisation of a magnetic field based soft tactile sensor, comprised of a magnet and Hall effect module separated by an elastomer. The aim was to minimise sensitivity of the output force with respect to the input magnetic field; this was achieved by varying the geometry and material properties. Finite element simulations determined the magnetic field and structural behaviour under load. Genetic programming produced phenomenological expressions describing these responses. Optimisation studies constrained by a measurable force and stable loading conditions were conducted; these produced Pareto sets of designs from which the optimal sensor characteristics were selected. The optimisation demonstrated a compromise between sensitivity and the measurable force, a fabricated version of the optimised sensor validated the improvements made using this methodology. The approach presented can be applied in general for optimising soft tactile sensor designs over a range of applications and sensing modes.
Conference paperGhajari M, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, 2017,
Predicting the location of chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology, 2017 IRCOBI Conference, Publisher: International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury (IRCOBI), Pages: 699-700, ISSN: 2235-3151
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease linked to head impacts. Its distinctive neuropathologic feature is deposition of tau proteins in sulcal depths and in perivascular regions. Previous work has investigated pathological and clinical features of CTE, and here the authors report recent work on exploring the link between strain and strain rate distribution within the brain and location of CTE pathology. The authors used a high fidelity finite element (FE) model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to test the hypothesis that strain and strain rate produced by head impacts are greatest in sulci, where neuropathology is prominently seen in CTE. The authors also analyzed diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from a large cohort of TBI patients to provide converging evidence from empirical neuroimaging data for the model’s prediction.
Journal articleGhajari M, Hellyer P, Sharp D, 2017,
Computational modelling of traumatic brain injury predicts the location of chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology, Brain, Vol: 140, Pages: 333-343, ISSN: 0006-8950
Traumatic brain injury can lead to the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This condition has a clear neuropathological definition but the relationship between the initial head impact and the pattern of progressive brain pathology is poorly understood. We test the hypothesis that mechanical strain and strain rate are greatest in sulci, where neuropathology is prominently seen in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and whether human neuroimaging observations converge with computational predictions. Three distinct types of injury were simulated. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy can occur after sporting injuries, so we studied a helmet-to-helmet impact in an American football game. In addition, we investigated an occipital head impact due to a fall from ground level and a helmeted head impact in a road traffic accident involving a motorcycle and a car. A high fidelity 3D computational model of brain injury biomechanics was developed and the contours of strain and strain rate at the grey matter–white matter boundary were mapped. Diffusion tensor imaging abnormalities in a cohort of 97 traumatic brain injury patients were also mapped at the grey matter–white matter boundary. Fifty-one healthy subjects served as controls. The computational models predicted large strain most prominent at the depths of sulci. The volume fraction of sulcal regions exceeding brain injury thresholds were significantly larger than that of gyral regions. Strain and strain rates were highest for the road traffic accident and sporting injury. Strain was greater in the sulci for all injury types, but strain rate was greater only in the road traffic and sporting injuries. Diffusion tensor imaging showed converging imaging abnormalities within sulcal regions with a significant decrease in fractional anisotropy in the patient group compared to controls within the sulci. Our results show that brain tissue deformation induced by head impact loading is greatest in sulcal
Journal articleWang H, de Boer G, Kow J, et al., 2017,
Tactile sensors are essential for robotic systems to safely interact with the external world and to precisely manipulate objects. Existing tactile sensors are typically either expensive or limited by poor performance, and most are not mechanically compliant. This work presents MagTrix, a soft tactile sensor array based on four 3D Hall sensors with corresponding permanent magnets. MagTrix has the capability to precisely measure triaxis force (1 mN resolution) and to determine contact area. In summary, the presented tactile sensor is robust, low-cost, high-performance and easily customizable to be integrated into a range of robotic and healthcare applications.
Journal articleGhajari M, Farajzadeh Khosroshahi S, 2016,
The chin bar of motorcyclefull-face helmets is the most likely region of the helmet tosustain impactsduring accidents, with alarge percentageof these impacts leadingto basilar skull fracture. Currently, helmet chin bars are designed to mitigate the peak acceleration at the centre of gravityof isolated headforms, as required by standards, but they are not designed to mitigate the neck force, which is probably the cause of basilar skull fracture, a type of head injury that can lead to fatalities. Here we test whether it is possible to increase the protection of helmet chin bars while meeting standard requirements. Fibre-reinforced composite shells are commonly used in helmets due to their lightweight and energy absorption characteristics. We optimize the ply orientation of a chin bar made of fibre-reinforced composite layersfor reduction of the neck force in a dummy modelusing a computational approach. We use thefinite element model of a human head/neck surrogateandmeasure the neck axial force, which has been shown to be correlated withthe risk of basilar skull fracture. The results show that by varying the orientationof the chin bar plies, thus keeping the helmetmass constant, the neck axial force can be reduced by approximately 30%while ensuring that the helmet complies withtheimpact attenuation requirementsprescribed in helmet standards.
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