Research Papers

Effects of Loading Conditions and Skull Fracture on Load Transfer to Head

[+] Author and Article Information
Timothy G. Zhang, Kimberly A. Thompson, Sikhanda S. Satapathy

U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
Aberdeen Proving Ground,
Aberdeen, MD 21005

Manuscript received March 22, 2017; final manuscript received August 8, 2017; published online October 4, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Alba Sofi. This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 4(2), 021007 (Oct 04, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: RISK-17-1049; doi: 10.1115/1.4037647 History: Received March 22, 2017; Revised August 08, 2017

This study focuses on the effect of skull fracture on the load transfer to the head for low-velocity frontal impact of the head against a rigid wall or being impacted by a heavy projectile. The skull was modeled as a cortical–trabecular–cortical-layered structure in order to better capture the skull deformation and consequent failure. The skull components were modeled with an elastoplastic with failure material model. Different methods were explored to model the material response after failure, such as eroding element technique, conversion to fluid, and conversion to smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) particles. The load transfer to the head was observed to decrease with skull fracture.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Yoganandan, N. , Pintar, F. A. , Sances, A., Jr. , Walsh, P. R. , Ewing, C. L. , Thomas, D. J. , and Snyder, R. G. , 1995, “ Biomechanics of Skull Fracture,” J. Neurotrauma, 12(4), pp. 659–668. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gurdjian, E. S. , Webster, J. E. , Lissner, and H. R. , 1949, “ Studies on Skull Fracture With Particular Reference to Engineering Factors,” Am. J. Surg., 78(5), pp. 736–742. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gurdjian, E. S. , and Webster, J. E. , 1958, Head Injuries: Mechanisms, Diagnosis, and Management, Little Brown, Boston, MA.
Versace, J. , 1971, “ A Review of the Severity Index,” SAE Paper No. 710881.
Philemon, C. , Lu, Z. , Rigby, P. , Takhounts, E. , Zhang, J. , Yoganandan, N. , and Pintar, N. , 2007, “ Development of a Generalized Linear Skull Fracture Criterion,” 20th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Detroit, MI, June 15–18. http://wbldb.lievers.net/09126.html
Bandak, F. A. , Vander Vorst, M. J. , Stuhmiller, L. M. , Mlakar, P. F. , Chilton, W. E. , and Stuhmiller, J. H. , 1995, “ An Imaging-Based Computational and Experimental Study of Skull Fracture: Finite Element Model Development,” J. Neurotrauma, 12(4), pp. 679–688.
Zhang, L. , Yang, K. H. , Dwarampudi, R. , Omori, K. , Li, T. , Chang, K. , Hardy, W. N. , Khalil, T. B. , and King, A. I. , 2001, “ Recent Advances in Brain Injury Research: A New Human Head Model Development and Validation,” Stapp Car Crash J., 45, pp. 369–394. http://www.academia.edu/13097600/Recent_advances_in_brain_injury_research_a_new_human_head_model_development_and_validation
Mao, H. , Zhang, L. , Jiang, B. , Genthikatti, V. V. , Jin, X. , Zhu, F. , Makwana, R. , Gill, A. , Jandir, G. , Singh, A. , and Yang, K. H. , 2013, “ Development of a Finite Element Human Head Model Partially Validated With Thirty Five Experimental Cases,” ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 135(11), p. 111002.
Lynch, M. L. , Wozniak, S. L. , and Sokolow, A. , 2015, “ Material Parameter Sensitivity of Predicted Injury in the Lower Leg,” U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Report No. ARL-TR-7310. http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA617193
Wagner, C. D. , 2012, “ Computational Simulation of Skull Fracture Patterns in Pediatric Subjects Using a Porcine Model,” Ph.D. dissertations, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/oa_dissertations/420/
Sahoo, D. , Deck, C. , Yoganandan, N. , and Willinger, R. , 2014, “ Composite FE Human Skull Model Validation and Development of Skull Fracture Criteria,” International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury Conference, Berlin, Germany, Sept. 10–12, Paper No. IRC-14-20 http://www.ircobi.org/wordpress/downloads/irc14/pdf_files/20.pdf.
Asgharpour, Z. , Baumgartner, D. , Willinger, R. , Graw, M. , and Peldschus, S. , 2014, “ The Validation and Application of a Finite Element Human Head Model for Frontal Skull Fracture Analysis,” J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater., 33, pp. 16–23. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Yoganandan, N. , and Pintar, F. A. , 2004, “ Biomechanics of Temporo-Parietal Skull Fracture,” Clin. Biomech., 19(3), pp. 225–239. [CrossRef]
Delye, H. , Verschueren, P. , Depreitere, B. , Verpoest, I. , Berckmans, D. , Sloten, J. V. , Van Der Perre, G. , and Goffin, J. , 2007, “ Biomechanics of Frontal Skull Fracture,” J. Neurotrauma, 24(10), pp. 1576–1586. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Zhang, T. G. , Satapathy, S. S. , Dagro, A. M. , and McKee, P. J. , 2013, “ Numerical Study of Head/Helmet Interaction Due to Blast Loading,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2013-63015.
Zhou, Z. , Jiang, B. , Cao, L. , Zhu, F. , Mao, H. , and Yang, K. H. , 2016, “ Numerical Simulations of the 10-Year-Old Head Response in Drop Impacts and Compression Tests,” Comput. Methods Programs Biomed., 131, pp. 13–25. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
McElhaney, J. H. , Fogle, J. L. , Melvin, J. W. , Haynes, R. R. , Roberts, V. L. , and Alem, N. M. , 1970, “ Mechanical Properties of Cranial Bone,” J. Biomech., 3(5), pp. 495–511. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Liu, Z. , and Yeung, K. , 2008, “ The Preconditioning and Stress Relaxation of Skin Tissue,” J. Biomed. Pharm. Eng., 2(1), pp. 22–28. http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/bmerc/contents/JBPE/J002/JBPE%202(1)%2022-28.pdf
Herbert, E. , Balibar, S. , and Caupin, F. , 2006, “ Cavitation Pressure in Water,” Phys. Rev. E, 74, p. 041603.
Caupin, F. , and Herbert, E. , 2006, “ Cavitation in Water: A Review,” C. R. Phys., 7(9), pp. 1000–1017. [CrossRef]
Dong, L. , Zhu, F. , Jin, X. , Suresh, M. , Jiang, B. , Sevagan, G. , Cai, Y. , Li, G. , and Yang, K. H. , 2013, “ Blast Effect on the Lower Extremities and Its Mitigation: A Computational Study,” J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater., 28, pp. 111–124. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Zhang, Y. Y. , He, F. , Li, C. L. , Gao, Y. , and Gao, P. , 2013, “ Simulation Analysis on Strength of Bucket Tooth With Various Soil,” Advanced Materials Research, 619, pp. 62–65. [CrossRef]
Dyna, L. S. , 2016, “ Keyword User's Manual,” Material Models, Vol. II, Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC), Livermore, CA.
Johnson, G. R. , and Stryk, R. A. , 2003, “ Conversion of 3D Distorted Elements Into Meshless Particles During Dynamic Deformation,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 28(9), pp. 947–966. [CrossRef]
Johnson, G. R. , Beissel, S. R. , and Gerlach, C. A. , 2011, “ Another Approach to a Hybrid Particle-Finite Element Algorithm for High-Velocity Impact,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 38(5), pp. 397–405. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Simplified geometry of (a) head (skin and flesh, bone, CSF, and brain) and (b) three-layer geometry for skull in the impact zone

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) The mesh for the head components and (b) the mesh for the three-layer geometry for the skull in the impact zone

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) The defleshed head impacts a rigid wall at 45 deg, and (b) the impact location changes from A to B when the skin and flesh are absent

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Frontal impact of (a) hemispherical-nose and (b) flat-nose projectile

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Free- or fixed-boundary conditions applied to the bottom surface of the cylindrical bone

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

The stress–strain curves for the skull components

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

The rigid-wall force for various impact velocities

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Time history of brain rigid-body velocity

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Time history of pressure along the impact line in: (a) skin/flesh, bone, and CSF and (b) brain

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

The locations for the pressure

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

The peak pressure along the impact line

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

In-plane strain and normal strain for (a) top cortical bone surface and (b) bottom cortical bone surface

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Curved coordinates for top cortical and bottom cortical

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Time history of rigid-wall force for various failure models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Bone failures for (a) “no failure,” (b) “fluid,” (c) “erosion,” and (d) “SPH” case

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

The time history of pressure in the brain modeling skull failure with (a) no failure, (b) fluid, (c) erosion, and (d) SPH

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Time histories of rigid wall force for various impact velocities with and without skin and flesh

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Time histories of pressure along the impact line in the brain for defleshed head case

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Time histories of rigid-wall force in defleshed head

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

The failures in the impact zone for (a) full head and (b) defleshed head

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

The time history of force to the head impacted by a (a) hemispherical-nose and (b) flat-nose projectile for fixed and free-boundary conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

The time history of pressure in the brain when the head is impacted by a (a) hemispherical-nose and (b) flat-nose projectile for fixed-and free-boundary conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 23

The fractures at 1.3 ms in the skull for (a) “erosion” and (b) “SPH” case

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 24

The fractures at 1.3 ms in the defleshed head (a) impacted against a rigid wall, impacted by a (b) flat-nose projectile, free boundary conditions, (c) flat-nose projectile, fixed boundary conditions, (d) hemispherical-nose projectile, free boundary conditions, and (e) hemispherical-nose projectile, fixed boundary conditions



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Articles from Part A: Civil Engineering
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In