Image - based Finite Element Analysis of Head Injuries and Helmet Design

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Liang, Zhaoyang
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Biofidelity of finite element head model (FEHM) includes geometric and material aspects. A FEHM with inhomogeneous material properties was proposed to improve material biofidelity. The proposed FEHM was validated against experimental data and good agreements were observed. The capability of the proposed model in simulating large tissue deformation was also demonstrated. Influences of inhomogeneous material properties on the mechanical responses of head were investigated by comparing with homogeneous material model. The inhomogeneous material properties induce large peak strains in head constituents, which are probably the cause of various brain injuries. Helmets are effective in preventing head injuries. Parametric studies were conducted to investigate how changes in helmet shell stiffness, foam density and pad thickness influence the performance of a helmet in protecting the brain. Results showed that strain energy absorbed by foam component, contact stress on the interfaces and intracranial responses are significantly affected by foam density and pad thickness.
Head injury, Finite element analysis, Hounsfield Unit, CT images, inhomogeneous material