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Development of a Low-Cost Mechanical Model of a Human Head

[+] Author Affiliations
Grace Foltz, Elizabeth Tillotson, Beth A. Todd

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Paper No. IMECE2018-87129, pp. V003T04A082; 4 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5202-6
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


In recent years, interest has developed in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and the related concussions that occur in sports at both professional and amateur levels. Subsequently there is interest in developing new types of athletic helmets to both absorb energy to detect and reduce concussions. To test these helmets, an appropriate head form must be used that will fit the helmet and also exhibit the dynamic properties of the human head. While much effort has gone into creating biofidelic heads containing instrumentation for automotive crash testing, these heads can cost upwards of $10,000. The goal of this project is to create a head form for a few hundred dollars with the appropriate dynamic properties for testing linear and angular accelerations of a helmet.

The specific goals of this project are to create a head form with the following characteristics: 1) External size and shape that will properly fit a hockey helmet; 2) Weight representative of an adult head; 3) Robust enough to withstand a thousand impact tests. The manufacture of the head form and the verification that the design goals are described.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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