Impact biomechanics research in occupant safety predominantly focuses on the effects of loads applied to human subjects during automotive collisions. Characterization of the biomechanical response under such loading conditions is an active and important area of investigation. However, critical knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of human biomechanical response and injury tolerance under vertically accelerated loading conditions experienced due to underbody blast (UBB) events. This knowledge gap is reflected in anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) used to assess occupant safety. Experiments are needed to characterize biomechanical response under UBB relevant loading conditions. Matched pair experiments in which an existing ATD is evaluated in the same conditions as a post mortem human subject (PMHS) may be utilized to evaluate biofidelity and injury prediction capabilities, as well as ATD durability, under vertical loading. To characterize whole body response in the vertical direction, six whole body PMHS tests were completed under two vertical loading conditions. A series of 50th percentile hybrid III ATD tests were completed under the same conditions. Ability of the hybrid III to represent the PMHS response was evaluated using a standard evaluation metric. Tibial accelerations were comparable in both response shape and magnitude, while other sensor locations had large variations in response. Posttest inspection of the hybrid III revealed damage to the pelvis foam and skin, which resulted in large variations in pelvis response. This work provides an initial characterization of the response of the seated hybrid III ATD and PMHS under high rate vertical accelerative loading.
Keywords: biomechanics; injury; PMHS; underbody blast; vertical loading