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Simulation Based Development and Analysis of Helmet-to-Helmet Collision

[+] Author Affiliations
Ian Ladner, Kyle Johnson, M. F. Horstemeyer, L. N. Williams, J. Liao, R. Prabhu

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MSMississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS

Paper No. SBC2013-14649, pp. V01BT59A008; 2 pages
  • ASME 2013 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Volume 1B: Extremity; Fluid Mechanics; Gait; Growth, Remodeling, and Repair; Heart Valves; Injury Biomechanics; Mechanotransduction and Sub-Cellular Biophysics; MultiScale Biotransport; Muscle, Tendon and Ligament; Musculoskeletal Devices; Multiscale Mechanics; Thermal Medicine; Ocular Biomechanics; Pediatric Hemodynamics; Pericellular Phenomena; Tissue Mechanics; Biotransport Design and Devices; Spine; Stent Device Hemodynamics; Vascular Solid Mechanics; Student Paper and Design Competitions
  • Sunriver, Oregon, USA, June 26–29, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5561-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


In 2003, a study was conducted to analyze brain-related fatalities in American football. From 1945–1999 a total of 497 fatalities were brain injury-related. Majority of the injuries, 61%, occurred during the football game, and “75% of these were high school players.” The number of high school students was more than 13 times greater than the number of college and professional players combined [1]. While millions of high school students will never make it to the next lever; collegiate and professional players have brought the attention needed to the make advances in the field of helmet design. Further, a study conducted by Bartsch et al. showed that the 20th and 21st century football helmet and the “leatherhead” helmets are very similar in their concussion-resistant and shock-mitigating capabilities [2]. In the past few decades, improvements in the helmet design have not addressed shock wave mitigation but rather focused on the strength, durability, and “looks” of the helmet. A major issue stems from the lack of thorough knowledge of the biomechanics and physics of traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to helmet-to-helmet contacts. The current study proposes to an in-depth finite element analysis (FEA) of the helmet-to-helmet collision. The finite element (FE) model consists of a human head clad with helmet with simulations being performed using ABAQUS/Explicit [3]. Here, Helmet-to-helmet impacts will be analyzed to develop a new head injury metric that captures the locational and history effects of the impending shock wave due to collision.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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