Validation of simulated chestband data in frontal and lateral loading using a human body finite element model

Traffic Inj Prev. 2014;15(2):181-6. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2013.799278.


Objective: Finite element (FE) computer models are an emerging tool to examine the thoracic response of the human body in the simulated environment. In this study, a recently developed human body model, the Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) mid-sized male, was used to examine chestband contour deformations in a frontal and lateral impact. The objective of this study was 2-fold. First, a methodology for extracting and analyzing virtual chestband data from a full-body FE model is presented. Then, this method is applied to virtual chestband data from 2 simulations to evaluate the model's performance against experimental data.

Methods: One frontal and one lateral impact case were simulated using the FE model, which was preprogrammed with upper, middle, and lower chestbands. Maximum compression was determined using established techniques. Furthermore, a quadrant-based analysis technique for the results was introduced that enabled regional comparisons between the model and the experimental data in the anterior, posterior, right, and left sections of the chestband.

Results: For the frontal case at 13.3 m/s, the model predicted a peak compression of 13.6 and 12.9 percent for the upper and middle chestbands. For the lateral case at 6.7 m/s, the model predicted peak compression of the upper, middle, and lower chestbands of 27.9, 26.0, and 20.4 percent. Regional analysis showed average differences at maximum deformation between the model and experiments ranging from 0.9 percent (posterior) to 6.3 percent (anterior) in the frontal case and 2.3 percent (posterior) to 10.8 percent (anterior) in the lateral case. The greatest difference between model and experimental findings was found in the anterior quadrant.

Conclusions: Though this work was focused on techniques to extract and analyze chestband data from FE models, the comparative results provide further validation of the model used in this study. The results suggest the importance of evaluating comparisons between virtual and experimental chestband data on a regional basis. These data also provide the potential to correlate chestband deformations to the loading of underlying thoraco-abdominal structures. Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Traffic Injury Prevention to view the supplemental file.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Thorax / physiology*