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Summary of replies:Biomechanical tolerance of the head to bluntballistic impacts

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  • Summary of replies:Biomechanical tolerance of the head to bluntballistic impacts

    Hello all,

    I have copied the replies I had from Biomch-l users on this query. As always the information was extremely useful. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who replied to me.

    Corrina Cory

    __________________________________________________ _________
    Hello all,

    I have recently read the paper

    Development of biomechanical response corridors of the thorax to blunt ballistic impacts, Bir C, Viano D, King A, JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS
    37 (1): 73-79 JAN 2004.


    Analysis of injury criteria to assess chest and abdominal injury risks in blunt and ballistic impacts
    Sturdivan LM, Viano DC, Champion HR
    56 (3): 651-663 MAR 2004

    These papers both fully explain the best predictors for high-speed ballistic impacts for the chest.

    Does anyone know of any similar papers which deal with the high-speed, low-mass projectile impacts to the head. I assume that the HIC is not used to assess tolerance to these impacts as the drop tests from which the HIC was derived were of low impact velocity.

    If anyone has any contacts or references that cover the tolerance of the head to high-speed blunt impacts I would really appreciate it if you could email them to me.

    Many thanks

    Corrina Cory

    Dr Corrina Cory
    Trauma/Forensic Bioengineering
    The Institute of Medical Engineering and Medical Physics
    Research Office
    Cardiff University
    The Parade
    PO Box 925
    Cardiff CF24 OYF

    Tel +44(0) 29 20 875926
    Fax +44(0) 29 20 874421

    __________________________________________________ _________


    A NATO working group on Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT) has done some
    related work (head protected by a helmet) but I do not have the references.
    Cameron R. Bass has done some work on the subjet at the University of
    Virginia, you might try to contact him.

    see also

    __________________________________________________ _


    I am not sure of the specific type of head injury that you are referencing.
    I would expect that if you are studying generalized concussion then you should
    study Ommaya and other researchers work related to angular acceleration.
    (Let me know if you need any references.) Below is a reference that shows what
    helmeted subjects that sustain blunt projectile objects are able to sustain
    without LOC.

    "Voluntary Tolerance of the Human to Impact Accelerations of the Head."
    Charles F. Lombard, Et al. Aviation Medicine April 1951 pp 109-116.

    In additition, here is a ref related to biomechanical studies on boxers.

    "Some New Data Related to Human Tolerance Obtained From Volunteer Boxers."
    Y. Pincemaille, et al. SAE 892435

    This is another paper that measured the g's that the head sustained when
    heading a soccer ball and when involved in other sporting events.

    "Comparison of Impact Data in Hockey, Football, and Soccer" R.S. Naunheim, J
    Standeven, C. Richter, L.M. Lewis, Journal of Trauma 48(5):938-941.

    I hope this helps you. Good luck in all of your efforts. Would you please
    send me a copy of whatever you learn?

    Best wishes,


    __________________________________________________ ________________
    Matthew D. Mecham, MS, PE
    CMI-II, ACTAR # 1132
    MRA Forensic Sciences
    125 West Burton Avenue
    SLC, UT 84115
    Phone (801) 746-1145
    Fax (801) 746-1170


    Dr Cory,

    In response to your recent query on BIOMCH_L, Dr. Philippe Young and myself have published papers on blunt, low-mass
    projectile impacts to the head using analytical, experimental and finite element models. The experimental work has concentrated on relatively low mass impacts (1-3m/s) but you may well find some of the following useful:

    Young, P. G. and Morfey, C. L., (1998) Intracranial pressure transients caused by head impacts, Proceedings of the 1998 International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impact, Goteborg, Sweden,

    Young, P. G., (2002) Response of the human head to impact: understanding brain injury mechanisms, Proceedings of an Advanced Workshop on Mathematical and Computational Modelling of Biological Systems, Lisbon, Portugal,

    Young, P. G. (2002), A parametric study on the axisymmetric modes of vibration of multi-layered spherical shells with liquid cores of relevance to head impact modelling, J. Sound & Vibration, 256, 665-680.

    Young, P. G. (2003), An analytical model to predict the response of fluid-filled shells to impact - A model for blunt head impacts, J. Sound & Vibration, 267, 1107-1126.

    Johnson E. A. C., Young P. G., 2002, Response of the Human Head to Impact - An Experimental Procedure, Advanced Workshop on Bone Mechanics: Mathematical and Mechanical Models for Analysis and Synthesis, Lisbon, Portugal

    Johnson E. A. C., Young P. G., 2002, On the use of ANSYS and LS-DYNA3D to simulate the response of the human head to impact, ANSYS Users Conference, Warwick, UK

    Johnson E. A. C., Young P. G., 2002, On The Use Of A Patient Specific Rapid Prototype Model to Simulate The Response of the Human Head to Impact, International Congress on Biological and Medical Engineering, The Bio-Era: New Frontiers, New Challenges, Singapore

    Rodriges S. R., Johnson E. A. C., Young P. G., 2003, The influence of projectile mass and velocity on the response of the brain to blunt impact The IASTED International Conference on Biomechanics, BioMech 2003, Rhodes, Greece

    Johnson E. A. C., Young P. G., On the use of a patient specific rapid prototyped model to simulate the response of the human head to impact and comparison with analytical and finite element models, J. Biomech., accepted for publication Feb 2004. (This paper is due out soon)

    I hope this helps


    Emma Johnson

    Ms Emma A C Johnson
    PhD Student (Head Impact Injuries)
    School of Engineering and Computer Science
    Harrison Building
    University of Exeter
    North Park Road
    Exeter EX4 4QF

    Tel: 01392 263740

    __________________________________________________ _______

    Dr. Cory:

    My name is Benoit Anctil and I work for Biokinetics and Associates Ltd. We have an active program in developing a test method to assess the performance of ballistic helmets under non-penetrating impact (i.e. when the bullet is defeated but the deformation is such that it can cause serious injuries). It is led by Defence Research and Development Canada Valcartier and involves collaboration with NIST/OLES through the US/Canada bi-lateral agreement on counter terrorism research and development (TSWG). Our work is based on studies conducted by the NATO specialists team on behind armour blunt trauma. It involved mainly the Defence Research and Development Canada Valcartier, the US Army Natick Soldier Center (research conducted at the University of Virginia for), and the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement in France.

    I've indicated below some references summarizing these researches. You can also contact Dr. Bir ( at Wayne State University, she did recently a study on ballistic impact to the face.

    Hope that helps,

    Benoit Anctil, Senior Engineer

    Biokinetics and Associates Ltd.

    Tel: (613) 736-0384 ext.223

    Fax: (613) 736-0990

    Bass, C., Boggess, B., et al. (2003), "Risk of Head Injury During Ballistic Loading of Helmets", Joint Applied Vehicle Technology / Human Factors & Medicine - NATO RTO Specialists' Meeting, Koblenz, Germany.

    Waclawik, S. M., Bolduc, M., et al. (2002), "Development of a Non-Penetrating, 9mm, Ballistic Helmet, Test Method", Personal Armour Systems Symposium, The Hague (The Netherlands)

    Sarron, J.-C., Caillou, J.-P., et al. (2000), "Consequences of Nonpenetrating Projectile Impact on a Protected Head: Study of Rear Effects of Protections", The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, 49(5): 923-929.

    Bass, C. R., Boggess, B., et al. (2000), "Ballistic Helmet Backface Deformation Testing with a Dummy Subject", Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Colchester (UK).

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