Evaluation of head response to blast using sagittal and transverse finite element head models


  1. Singh, D.
  2. Cronin, D.S.
  3. Lockhart, P.A.
  4. Haladuick, T.N.
  5. Bouamoul, A.
  6. Dionne, J-P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Waterloo Univ, Waterloo ONT (CAN)
Blast injuries associated with exposure to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are becoming increasingly important in modern military conflicts, with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) reported as a significant incidence. Unlike automotive impacts, blast injuries are dominated by pressure wave dynamics, so appropriate finite element models need elements small enough to accurately model wave propagation. Although three-dimensional effects are important, the associated required mesh size results in a computationally prohibitive model. To address this, two fully coupled three dimensional slice blast-head models, in the sagittal and transverse planes, were developed using solid hexahedral elements. The head models were developed using geometry from the Visible Human Project, and were embedded in an Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) mesh to simulate the surrounding air. Blast loads corresponding to 5 kg C4 at 3, 3.5, and 4 m standoffs were simulated by applying the expected pressure wave curve to the ALE mesh as a boundary condition. The brain tissue was treated as a homogeneous continuum and modeled using a linear viscoelastic constitutive model. The models were also investigated with an idealized inviscid brain material to provide an upper bound on expected strains in brain tissue. The predicted peak accelerations in both the sagittal and transverse models were in good agreement with comparable physical tests on surrogate heads, although somewhat overpredicted at the 4 m stand
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2012-247 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Sep 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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