Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Methodology to Study Attenuation of a Blast Wave Through the Cranium

[+] Author Affiliations
Alok S. Shah, Brian D. Stemper, Narayan Yoganandan, Frank A. Pintar, Nagarajan Rangarajan, Jason Hallman

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Barry S. Shender

Naval Air Warfare Center, Patuxent River, MD

Paper No. IMECE2011-62932, pp. 17-24; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering; Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5488-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The purpose of the study was to quantify attenuation of open field shockwaves passing through the PMHS (Post Mortem Human Subject) cranium. A better understanding of the relationship between shockwave characteristics external to the cranium and insults experienced by the brain is essential for understanding injury mechanisms, validation of finite element models, and development of military safety devices for soldiers in the field. These relationships are being developed using experimental PMHS techniques. Our existing shock tube produced open field shockwaves by increasing input pressure behind a Mylar membrane using compressed nitrogen until the membrane burst. Increasing membrane thickness resulted in greater bursting pressure and peak shockwave pressure. Peak pressure decreased predictably with greater distance from the shock tube outlet. Input pressures between 1.6 and 3.2 MPa resulted in peak shockwave pressures between 45 kPa and 90 kPa measured between 40 and 60 cm from the shock tube exit. The experimental protocol consisted of obtaining a PMHS head, filling the voided cranium with Sylgard gel, and securing the head in front of the shock tube using a Hybrid III dummy neck. Pressure transducers were mounted on the external cranium surface on the ipsilateral side and on the internal cranium surface on the ipsilateral and contralateral sides. Because the specimen was tested in multiple orientations, the ipsilateral side referred to the frontal or temporal sides. Transducers were mounted prior to adding the Sylgard gel. Data from all tests indicated shockwave rise times less than 10 μs external to the skull and internal to the skull on the ipsilateral side. Therefore, the sampling rate was 10 MHz using a digital oscilloscope. Shockwave characteristics were quantified including peak overpressure, peak underpressure, and duration of positive phase. The results show peak overpressure attenuations between 14 and 26% from the external ipsilateral transducer to the contralateral transducers in frontal and lateral orientation. In addition, there was a 93–96% reduction in the rate of onset between those transducers. Each characteristic may affect injury type/severity. This setup can be used to understand injury mechanisms for blast-induced mTBI, to quantify effects of interventions (e.g., helmets) on attenuation of open field blast waves, and for validation of finite element models.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Waves



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In