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 to the third Newsletter of the THUMS User Community (TUC).

TUC is a project of the University of Munich in cooperation with Adam Opel AG, AUDI AG, Autoliv, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG, Toyota Motor Corporation and Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The aim of TUC is to setup a framework and harmonise general and administrative requirements for the implementation of Finite-Element Human Body Models (HBMs) in vehicle and traffic safety applications. Therefore, the project partners work closely together to achieve these goals.

Together with Associated Partners the TUC project intends to develop a cooperative platform of partners with similar interests and to accumulate the pre-competitive know-how and experience in the field of application of HBM.

This newsletter will regularly inform interested THUMS Users not only about the current status of the TUC project, but also about other TUC related projects and activities in the field of FE Human Body Models in vehicle and traffic safety applications.

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The 2014 THUMS USA User's Meeting

The 2014 THUMS USA User's Meeting took place in Dearborn/Michigan on 11th of June, 2014. Several interesting research activities for the advancement of THUMS were presented. The most important presentations are outlined in the following.

CSRC (Collaborative Safety Research Center, Toyota) presented several studies conducted within this collaboration. CSRC is running over 30 research projects in the field of Human Factors, Active Safety, Biomechanics and Data & Analysis Tools in cooperation with 17 collaborative partners. 

JSOL Corporation presented their work on the integration of a positioning method to the JSD software. The positioning approach used in this tool is based on a simulation. A study was conducted to investigate appropriate settings for positioning simulations.

University of Michigan proposed a method to develop parametric FE Human Body Models representing small female, elderly and obese occupants. The method includes developing and integrating statistical skeleton and human body surface contour models. These models are based on medical image and body scan data using a combination of principal component analysis and regression model. The statistical geometry model is linked to an existing 50th percentile model through an automated mesh morphing algorithm using radial basis functions so that the model can represent population variety.

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IRCOBI conference 2014

This year's IRCOBI conference took place in Berlin from September 10 - 12, 2014. Researchers from the field of biomechanics, crash mechanics, accident reconstruction, accident avoidance, sports injury, tissue modelling, epidemiology and all other fields relating to the biomechanics of injury and protective systems were invited to present their work. The most important presentations in terms of Human Modelling are outlined in the following.

The University of Strasbourg validated a composite finite element human skull model and developed skull fracture criteria. Therefore, an existing finite element skull model was enhanced and validated against 15 side impact experiments conducted with PMHS. Additionally, head trauma cases were reconstructed. A skull fracture risk curve was derived combining the acquired data. The skull internal energy was found to be the best parameter to predict skull failure. (IRC-14-20)

The University of Virginia characterised the in-vitro dynamic response of the human thoracic spine in flexion using functional spine units (FSU) which represented two different regions along the thoracic spine. The upper thoracic FSU exhibited a more compliant behaviour than the mid-thoracic segments. The instantaneous elastic response was found to be age-dependent. The acquired data can assisst in developing more biofidelic models of the human thoracic spine. In another study the biofidelity of the finite element 50th percentile male human body model (GHBMC) under lateral shoulder impact loading conditions was evaluated by comparing its responses to those of PMHS from literature. Although having similar impact force time histories, simulation results showed that the model needs to be improved to predict shoulder injuries. (IRC-14-23 & IRC-14-57)

The Ohio State University determines the ultimate tensile stress of human ribs across the lifespan. Whole ribs (9 to 92 years old) were experimentally tested in a bending scenario to simulate a dynamic frontal impact loading. Time to failure and the ultimate tensile stress was determined. Results indicate a significant decline in stress with increasing age. (IRC-14-44)

Toyota Central R&D Lab investigated pedestrian kinematics, especially in terms of head impact locations, using Active THUMS, a finite element model with muscles. A preliminary study addressed muscular effects on pedestrian kinematics and injuries using three types of activation levels. Simulation results with and without muscle activation showed that muscle activation altered the pedestrian kinematics in the head and lower extremities and decreased skeletal injury risks and neck elongation. (IRC-14-53)

Wake Forest University as part of the Global Human Body Model Consortium acquired comprehensive medical image and anthropometrical data of a 5th percentile female (F05) as basis for the development of a finite element model. A multi-modality image dataset consisting of CT, MRI and upright MRI medical images was obtained to determine the subject's supine, seated and standing postures. The image set was used to create skeletal and organ components of the model and to compare organ volumes and cortical thickness to data from literature. (IRC-14-54)

Mercedes Benz R&D India focused on the development of an anthropometrically correct 5th percentile female surface model from an available subject-specific CAD model. To target the desired percentile several statistical and mechanistic techniques were used. (IRC-14-55*)

The University of Waterloo investigated injury sensitivity in thorax impact loading focusing on side impacts and using a detailed finite element human body model. Three different impact scenarios were tested, predicted local to global responses of the thorax were compared and the sensitivity in loading conditions evaluated. Results emphasised the sensitivity of individual chest band locations to changing loading conditions and identified potential for improvement in side impact loading scenarios. (IRC-14-58*)

The Technical Universiy of Graz and Virtual Vehicle evaluated occupants' kinematics during emergency braking and lane change manoeuvres considering factors such as restraint systems and human factors. Two vehicle-based tests were conducted, lap belt versus three-point belt. Results showed distinct inter-individual differences in terms of occupant movement, especially for the lap belt setup. In another study it was focused on 3D occupant kinematics during frontal, lateral and combined emergency manoeuvers in a vehicle-based study. Volunteers were subjected to braking and lane change manoeuvers. Vehicle accelerations, steering wheel angle, angular velocity and brake status were recorded. Large inter-individual differences were found to occur in each manoeuver. Statistical analysis will follow. (IRC-14-70 & IRC-14-75*)
Chalmers University and Volvo compared the thoracic injury risk predicted by a modified THUMS model with the risks predicted by an injury risk curve constructed based on real-world data of frontal car crashes. Six simulations with three different crash severities and two acceleration pulses for each severity were performed with THUMS. The risk to obtain thoracic injuries was higher in the simulations compared to the risk predicted by the real world injury risk curve. (IRC-14-62)

The Technical University of Berlin observed front seat passenger posture and motion in several driving manoeuvers such as braking with different acceleration levels using a fixed track with defined scenarios. The tests were conducted with volunteers and dummies for motion comparison. Results showed large anthropometric discrepancies between the individuals. The stabilisation by an arm rest was found to have major influence on the results. (IRC-14-72)

Autoliv and Honda developed, validated and manufactured a generic vehicle front buck for pedestrian impact evaluation. A physical model was fabricated on basis of a CAE model of the buck and proved to be a good representation of small family cars on the European market. Furthermore, a full scale validation of the buck for pedestrian impact simulation was conducted to validate the buck in terms of the representativeness of car-pedestrians interactions. (IRC-14-82 & IRC-14-83)

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Outlook: 5th International Symposium on Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Safety and STAPP Car Crash Conference

5th International Symposium on Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Safety

On October 16 - 17, 2014 the fifth International Symposium on “Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Engineering” will be held in Munich (Germany).

The symposium intends to continue and further advance the dialog between researchers, software developers and industrial users of human models. It is again organised in cooperation with Wayne State University‘s renowned Bioengineering Centre, which has been a pioneer and leading institution in biomechanics research for automotive safety for more than 65 years. The conference programme includes several presentations outlining the advancements of THUMS.

A meeting of TUC partners will take place before the Symposium.

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58th STAPP Car Crash Conference

On November 10-12, 2014 the 58th STAPP Car Crash Conference will take place in San Diego (USA).

The STAPP Car Crash Conference is the premier forum for presentation of research in impact biomechanics, human injury tolerance, and related fields that advance the knowledge of land-vehicle crash injury protection. The Conference provides an opportunity to participate in free discussion regarding the causes and mechanisms of injury, experimental methods and tools for use in impact biomechanics research, and the development of new concepts for reducing injuries and fatalities in automobile crashes.

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The next TUC newsletter will appear in late autumn 2014.
  1. Welcome
  2. THUMS USA User's Meeting
  3. IRCOBI 2014
  4. Outlook

Past events

Dearborn, USA
11th of June, 2014

Berlin, Germany
September 10-12, 2014

Upcoming events

Munich, Germany
Oktober 16 & 17, 2014

San Diego, USA
November 10-12, 2014

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