Finite element investigation of Closed Head Injuries
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Head injuries are very common in daily life and in war field. Head injuries are classified into open and closed. The mechanical mechanisms involved in closed head injuries are very different from those in open head injuries. Closed head injuries are more often re-ported with the use of protective device such as helmets. Helmets were found effective in reducing open head injuries, but less effective for closed head injuries. Finite element modeling is an effective and efficient tool for investigating head injuries. In this thesis, a two-dimensional finite element model was constructed based on a Mag-netic Resonance Image (MRI) scan data from a patient. MATLAB programming was used to extract the information from the MRI scan data. The finite element model was then used to investigate factors affecting closed head injuries. As a new contribution to closed head injury study, the fluid component in the human head, CSF, was studied by a group of comparative simulations. The other three factors, elasticity modulus of the cra-nium, contact area of impact, and impact duration were also investigated. Their effects on reducing the strain values in the brain were measured. Investigation results show that, increasing elasticity modulus of the cranium, contact area of impact and impact duration are very helpful to reduce the strain values in the brain. Helmet is helpful to protect people from closed head injuries because it can change all these three factors by using different shell stiffness and different padding material. The cerebrospinal fluid is effective in protecting the brain from impacts, as a fluid is able to reduce normal strains and filter nearly all shear strains transferred to the brain. It indicates that if a layer of fluid could be added as a layer in a protective helmet, the helmet would be more effective in protecting the brain. Conclusions obtained from the investigations are helpful for preventing closed head injuries and for improving design of protective devices such as helmets.