Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the potential chest injury benefits and influence on occupant kinematics of a belt system with independent control of the shoulder and lap portions. Methods: This article investigates the kinematics and dynamics of human surrogates in 35 km/h impacts with 2 different restraints: a pretensioning (PT), force-limiting (FL) seat belt, a reference belt system, and a concept design with a split buckle consisting (SB) of 2 separate shoulder and lap belt bands. The study combines mathematical simulations with the THOR dummy and THUMS human body model, and mechanical tests with the THOR dummy and 2 postmortem human surrogate (PMHS) tests of similar age (39 and 42 years) and anthropometry (62 kg, 181 cm vs. 60 kg, 171.5 cm). The test setup consisted of a rigid metallic frame representing a standard seating position of a right front passenger. The THOR dummy model predictions were compared to the mechanical THOR dummy test results. The THUMS-predicted number of fractured ribs were compared to the number of fractured ribs in the PMHS. Results: THOR sled tests showed that the SB seat belt system decreased chest deflection significantly without increasing the forward displacement of the head. The THOR model and the THOR physical dummy predicted a 13- and 7-mm reduction in peak chest deflection, respectively. Peak diagonal belt force in the mechanical test with the reference belt was 5,582 N and the predicted force was 4,770 N. The THOR model also predicted lower belt forces with the SB system than observed in the tests (5,606 vs. 6,085 N). THUMS predicted somewhat increased head displacement for the SB system compared to the reference system. Peak diagonal force with the reference belt was 4,000 N and for the SB system it was 5,200 N. The PMHS test with the SB belt resulted in improved kinematics and a smaller number of rib fractures (2 vs. 5 fractures) compared to the reference belt. Conclusion: Concepts for a belt system that can reduce the load on the chest of the occupant in a crash and thereby reduce the number of injured occupants, in particular the elderly, was proposed.
Keywords: PMHS, seat belt, frontal impact, THOR, THUMS
Traffic Injury Prevention. Volume: 17 Issue: Sup 1 Pages: 124-130
JCR Impact Factor and Scopus quartile: JCR impact factor: 1.290 (2016); 1.274 (2017).
DOI reference: 10.1080/15389588.2016.1201204
Published on paper: September 2016. Published on-line: September 2016.
B. Pipkorn, F.J. López-Valdés, O. Juste, R. Insausti, C. Lundgren, C. Sunnevang. Assessment of an innovative seatbelt with independent control of the shoulder and lap portions using THOR tests, the THUMS model and PMHS tests. Traffic Injury Prevention. vol. 17, no. Sup 1, pp. 124-130, September 2016. [Online: September 2016]