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Side impact tolerance to blunt trauma


In: Stapp Car Crash Conference. Seventeenth. Proceedings. Society of Automotive Engineers, New York, 1973, p. 377-408; DOI: 10.4271/730979

Authors: R. L. Stalnaker, James McElhaney, Verne L. Roberts

The object of this research program has been to extend the scope of earlier work to include long-duration head impacts and to develop new scaling relationships to allow extrapolation of impact data from infrahuman primates to living humans.

A series of living primate side impacts to the head and torso was conducted in parallel with a series of impacts to human cadavers. Dimensional analysis techniques were employed to estimate in vivo human tolerance to side injury.

The threshold of closed brain injury to humans was found to be 76 g for a pulse duration of 20 ms and an impact velocity of 43 ft/s (13.2 m/s). The maximum tolerable penetration to the chest was found to be 2.65 in (6.72 cm) for both the left and right sides.

Scaling of abdominal injuries to humans was accomplished by employing a factor that relates impact contact area, animal mass, impact force, and pulse duration to injury severity. The maximum tolerable contact pressure to the upper abdomen of a human was found to be 32 lbf/in2 (220 kPa).