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Soft Tissue Strain Rates in Side-Blast Incidents

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada-Valcartier Quebec, Qc Canada

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Complexity of injury mechanisms in blast-like events requires constant evolution of vulnerability modelling for improving the prediction of trauma consequences, and for the establishment of mitigating strategies. Refinement of numerical techniques, along with appropriate material characterization, leads to improved fidelity and accuracy with regards to injury assessment. However, the accuracy of numerical models strongly relies on test data, specifically mechanical properties of anatomical structures. Testing conditions that are representative of side-blast incidents are still to be evaluated in order to improve models representativeness. This paper introduces a simplified finite element model of a human neck to study the reaction of armour vehicle occupants exposed to side blast incidents. The model was used to identify which anatomical structures may suffer injury and the strain rates that neck tissues may experience. Based upon DRDC Valcartier results using a vertical drop tower to approximate global acceleration induced by blast-like incidents, a velocitytime curve was used as boundary conditions on the torso kinematics. Head and vertebrae were modelled as rigid bodies with proper muscle and ligament attachments. Nuchal and anterior longitudinal ligaments were included because of their role in stabilizing body joints subjected to excessive motion. Seven muscle groups were modelled. The muscle models included fasciae to investigate whether they may play a significant role in restraining neck motion.

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