A New THOR Shoulder Design: A Comparison with Volunteers, the Hybrid III and THOR NT
Journal article, 2007
Objective Since the shoulders are rarely seriously injured in frontal or oblique collisions, they have been given low priority in the development of frontal impact crash test dummies. The shoulder complex geometry and its kinematics are of vital importance for the overall dummy kinematics. The shoulder complex also influences the risk of the safety belt slipping off the shoulder in oblique forward collisions. The first aim of this study was to develop a new 50th percentile male THOR shoulder design while the second was to compare the new shoulder, mounted on a THOR NT dummy, with volunteer, THOR NT and Hybrid III range-of-motion and stiffness data. The third aim was to test the repeatability of the new shoulder during dynamic testing and to see how the design behaves with respect to belt slippage in a 45° far-side collision.
Methods The new 50th percentile THOR shoulder design was developed with the aid of a shell model of the seated University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) 50th percentile male with coordinates for joints and bony landmarks (Schneider et al., 1983). The new shoulder design has human-like bony landmarks for the acromion and coracoid processes. The clavicle curvature and length are also made similar to that of a male human, as is the range-of-motion in the anterior-posterior, superior-inferior and medial-lateral directions. The new shoulder design was manufactured and tested under the same conditions that Törnvall et al. (2005b) used to compare the shoulder range-of-motion for the volunteers, Hybrid III and THOR Alpha. The new design was also tested in two dynamic test configurations: the first was a 0° full-frontal test and the second was a 45° far-side test. The dummy tests were conducted with an R-16 seat with a three-point belt, the ΔV was 27.0 ±0.5 km/h and the maximum peak acceleration was approximately 14.6 ±0.5 g for each test.
Results A new shoulder design with geometry close to that of humans was developed to be retrofitted to the THOR NT dummy. The results showed that the range-of-motion for the new shoulder complex during static loading was larger by at least a factor of three, for the maximum load (200 N/arm), than that of either the Hybrid III or the THOR NT; this means it was more similar to the volunteers’ range-of-motion. It was observed that the THOR NT with the new shoulder did not slide out of the shoulder-belt during a far-side collision. The performance of the new shoulder was reasonably repeatable and stable during both the static tests and the sled tests.
Conclusions A new shoulder for the THOR NT has been designed and developed, and data from static range-of-motion tests and sled tests indicate that the new shoulder complex has the potential to function in a more human-like manner on the THOR dummy.