Title page for ETD etd-04162010-162426

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kemper, Andrew Robb
URN etd-04162010-162426
Title The Biomechanics of Thoracic Skeletal Response
Degree PhD
Department Biomedical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hardy, Warren N. Committee Chair
Brolinson, P. Gunnar Committee Member
Gabler, Hampton Clay Committee Member
Madigan, Michael L. Committee Member
Stitzel, Joel D. Committee Member
  • Injury
  • Thorax
  • Failure
  • Rib
  • Clavicle
  • Bone
  • Bending
  • Tension
  • Strain
  • Stress
Date of Defense 2010-03-30
Availability restricted
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2008 there were a total of 37,261 automotive related fatalities, 26,689 of which were vehicle occupants. It has been reported that in automotive collisions chest injuries rank second only to head injuries in overall number of fatalities and serious injuries. In frontal collisions, chest injuries constitute 37.6% of all AIS 3+ injuries, 46.3% of all AIS 4+ injuries, and 43.3% of all AIS 5+ injuries. In side impact collisions, it has been reported that thoracic injuries are the most common type of serious injury (AIS≥3) to vehicle occupants in both near side and far side crashes which do not involve a rollover. In addition, rib fractures are the most frequent type of thoracic injury observed in both frontal and side impact automotive collisions.

Anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs), i.e. crash test dummies, and finite element models (FEMs) have proved to be integral tools in the assessment and mitigation of thoracic injury risk. However, the validation of both of these tools is contingent on the availability of relevant biomechanical data. In order to develop and validate FEMs and ATDs with improved thoracic injury risk assessment capabilities, it is necessary to generate biomechanical data currently not presented in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to present novel material, structural, and global thoracic skeletal response data as well as quantify thoracic injury timing in both frontal belt loading and side impact tests using cadaveric specimens.

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