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Evaluation of Test Methods for Football Helmets Using Finite Element Simulations
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Utvärdering av metoder för test av hjälmar för amerikansk fotboll genom finita element-simuleringar (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Concussions in American Football are of a major concern due to highly reported injury rates. The importance of properly designed helmets have shown effect in reducing the risk of injuries, such as skull fractures. However, they are not as effective in reducing the risk of concussion. Helmets designed are required to pass standards and regulations for them to be allowed within the football leagues. The current test methods evaluate linear impacts, but lack evaluations of oblique impacts which are believed to cause concussions. Several test methods have been suggested, but little is known regarding how they compare.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare three different test methods for evaluating helmet performance, utilizing finite element simulation. Three different helmet models were used for comparison, evaluating head kinematics. The helmet models were additionally ranked from best to worst based on their performances.

Method: Three test methods, linear impactor, 45° angled linear impactor, and a drop test onto a 45° angled plate were simulated with three different open source helmet models. Simulations were conducted with one impact velocity at three impact locations. The influence of the interaction between helmet and head was also evaluated by altering the friction coefficient.

Results: The test methods showed different results depending on helmet models, impact locations, and kinematics evaluated. Similarly, rankings of the helmets were varied based on methods and impact location. Little difference was observed after lowering the friction coefficient in majority of cases. The linear and angular acceleration for the drop side impact were mostly affected.

Conclusion: Further evaluations of the test methods and comparison to real impacts is required to evaluate what method resembles head impacts best. Lowered friction coefficient had an effect for the drop impacts, but minor effect for other test methods

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 82
Series
TRITA-CBH-GRU ; 2019:078
Keywords [en]
Concussion, Football Helmets, Test methods, FE simulations
National Category
Medical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-255278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-255278DiVA, id: diva2:1339155
Subject / course
Medical Engineering
Educational program
Master of Science - Medical Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-29 Created: 2019-07-26 Last updated: 2019-07-29Bibliographically approved

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