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to the fourth 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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Charm - 10

A computational model of the 10-year-old child human body was developed at the Wayne State University in cooperation with CSRC (Collaborative Safety Research Center) and is now available as occupant and pedestrian model. It generally represents the anatomical features and biomechanical properties of an average 10-year-old human body with a height of 140.1 cm and a weight of 40.1 kg. The whole model consists of approx. 1.5 million elements. It was validated against a number of load cases involving the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, lower extremities and the whole body.

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AAAM - 58th Annual Scientific Conference

The 58th Annual Scientific Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) took place in Munich on October 12-15, 2014. AAAM is an international, multidisciplinary professional organisation dedicated to limiting injuries from motor vehicle crashes. All papers of the conference are published in the Traffic Injury Prevention (Volume 15, Supplement 1). Interesting presentations related to Human Body Modelling are outlined in the following. 

Virginia Tech investigated the effects of pre-impact bracing on the chest compression, reaction forces, and accelerations experienced by human occupants during low-speed frontal sled tests. On five 50th-percentile male human volunteers a total of twenty low-speed frontal sled tests, ten low severity and ten medium severity were performed. Each volunteer was exposed to two impulses at each severity, one relaxed and the other braced prior to the impulse. The results illustrated that muscle activation has a significant effect on the biomechanical response of human occupants in low-speed frontal impacts.

Autoliv investigated how the impact energy is apportioned between chest deflection and translation of the vehicle occupant for various side impact conditions using the Autoliv modified THUMS v1.4. A parametric analysis was performed. It revealed a trade-off between the deformation of the chest and the lateral translation of the spine. The trade-off between maximum chest deflection and maximum spine displacement is location dependent, which suggests that an optimum point of loading on the chest for the action of a safety system can be found.

The Medical College of Wisconsin re-examined lower leg PMHS data from a large group of specimens to describe human tolerance of the lower leg using parametric survival analysis. Axial loading experiments were conducted by impacting the plantar surface of the foot whereas resulting fractures included injuries to the calcaneus and distal tibia–fibula complex. Results were extracted for 25-, 45- and 65-year-olds at 5, 25, and 50% risk levels age groups for lower leg fracture. For 25, 45, and 65 years, peak forces were 8.1, 6.5, and 5.1 kN at 5% risk; 9.6, 7.7, and 6.1 kN at 25% risk; and 10.4, 8.3, and 6.6 kN at 50% risk, respectively.

The Center of Applied Biomechanics of the University of Virginia compared the response of four male whole-body PMHS to previously performed component tests of the cervical spine. Therefore, the PMHS were subjected to inverted head-to-ground impacts that resulted in cervical compression. While only moderate (AIS 2) injuries were produced in the current study, more serious and severe injuries have been produced previously, which suggests that constraint and/or boundary condition differences also affect injury type and tolerance.

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5th Symposium on Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Engineering

The 5th International Symposium on Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Engineering took place in Munich on October 16-17, 2014 providing presentations on all aspects of digital human models in automotive development.

The symposium included comprehensive summaries of the current versions of THUMS (Toyota Motor Corporation) and GHBM (Virginia Tech and Nissan NA) and of translations of those models from one crash code to another (ESI and Altair).

Chalmers University of Technology analysed THUMS 3 and GHBM responses to low g-level loading finding that limitations of current models can be found in response to gravity and neck shear underestimation. Volkswagen highlighted the influence of superficial soft tissue properties for simulating occupants’ kinematics in pre-crash loading scenarios. Virtual Vehicle Graz presented final results of the OM4IS projects including volunteer test data in pre-crash loading scenarios and simplified modelling approaches to account for muscle activity. Daimler showed current studies on integrating Hill-type muscle models into their version of THUMS 3.

German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and Toyota Motor Corporation used the recently developed THUMS 10YO to analyse kinematics and interaction with the belt of the Q10 dummy in frontal sled tests. Differences in kinematics were attributed to the stiff Q10 spine, thoracic load distribution deserves further attention.

Autoliv demonstrated, using their version of THUMS 3 thorax that the probabilistic rib fracture prediction, as opposed to element elimination, allows a detailed representation of field quantities related to injury risk and can account for variations of mechanical parameters in the population.

The AsPeCSS project presented by Toyota Motor Europe demonstrated advantages of THUMS 4 over simplified mutli-body models in pedestrian load cases and suggested FE models as a basis for NCAP procedures analyses. LAB gave an outlook on the PIPER project developing open source tools for positioning and personalising HBMs and improving child models.

University of Strasbourg presented updates on their head/neck FE model SUFEHM including a recently established criterion for skull fracture and the derivation of an anisotropic hyper-viscoelastic constitutive model of the brain with particular focus on white matter (axons). Wayne State University provided an outlook for next generation FE analysis of injury mechanics demonstrating how a FE model of a single axon can be built using multi-scale approaches. Relating simulation results to the biochemical processes within an axon may lead to an explanation for healthy and injured axons appearing side by side in the brain white matter.

The programme was completed by overviews on geometry acquisition, industrial safety applications and on state-of-the-art models for seating comfort evaluation and muscle modelling. Harmonisation was pointed out in the final discussion to be a crucial challenge for further developments in the application of human models in automotive development.

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58th Stapp Car Crash Conference

The 58th Stapp Car Crash Conference took place in San Diego on November 10-12, 2014. Interesting research activities in the field of Human Modeling and injury biomechanics are presented in the following.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology evaluated the hypothesis that strain in the direction of fibers (axonal strain) is a better predictor for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) than maximum prinicipal strain (MPS), anisotropic equivalent strain (AESM) and cumulative strain damage measure (CSDM) using their validated anisotropic FE model of the human brain. Results showed that axonal strain was found to be a better injury predictor than MPS, AESM, CSDM, BrIC and HIC for a data set of mild TBI from the national football league. KTH also analysed the influence of head kinematics and injury metrics of pedestrian head impacts with a relaxed neck and a neck with increased tonus. It was found that for the muscle tonus used in this study the influence on the strain in the brain was minor, in general about 1-14% change. A relatively large increase was observed in a secondary peak in maximum strains in only one of the simulated cases. (2014-02 + 2014-03)

The Center for Applied Biomechanics of the Univiersity of Virginia analysed the contribution of pre-impact spine posture on impact response by subjecting a FE human body model (HBM) to lateral impacts. Therfore, seven postured models created from a original HBM were used to compare the response of the HBM to that of cadavers. It was shown that the inclination of the spine in the frontal plane plays a major role and that the pre-impact posture influences the outcome predicted by the simulation. (2014-14)

UMTRI performed lateral dual-sled side impact tests on eight whole fresh-frozen cadavers of elderly humans. The first impact was done at 3 m/s. If two or fewer rib fractures occurred, a second impact was performed at 6 m/s on the contralateral side of the body. Injuries with an AIS 3+ level were produced within five of the eight 3 m/s-tests and within all of the 6 m/s-tests. An injury risk curve associates a 50% probability of AIS 3+ rib fracture with 25.6% half-thorax deflection. (2014-15)

Virginia Tech used a radial basis function to morph the Global Human Body Model (GHBMC) average male (M50) to a 95th percentile male (M95). For the morphing process a dataset collected from a 95th percentile male was used. Within a root-mean square difference of 4.4 % the morphed model matched anthropometric data maintaining the element quality of the M50 model. Simulations of the M95 in loading scenarios were presented for validation matching experimetal data in most cases. (2014-13)

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Outlook: ESV2015

The 24th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 8-11, 2015. ESV2015 is hosted by Swedish Transport Administration and SAFER Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre. The conference program will be offering plenary sessions, special workshops, technical sessions on a variety of safety topics, exhibition, Ride & Drive demonstrations of future safety technologies, technical demos at AstaZero, and technical visits to several world-leading crash labs, simulators and test tracks in the Gothenburg area. For the preliminary technical program, please click the following link.


The next TUC newsletter will presumably appear in summer 2015.

Past events

October 12-15, 2014

October 13-15, 2014

Human Modeling and Simulation in Automotive Engineering
October 16-17, 2014

58th STAPP Car Crash Conference
San Diego,
November 10-12, 2014

Upcoming events

June 8-11, 2015

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Therese Fuchs
Nussbaumstr. 26
80336 Munich

+49 89 2180 73365