Research Papers

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Mechanism of Blast Wave Transmission Through a Surrogate Head

[+] Author and Article Information
Yi Hua, Praveen Kumar Akula, Jeff Berg, Carl A. Nelson

Department of Mechanical
and Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656

Linxia Gu

Department of Mechanical
and Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656
Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656
e-mail: lgu@unl.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. Manuscript received July 17, 2013; final manuscript received November 27, 2013; published online February 13, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Carmen M. Lilley.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 9(3), 031010 (Feb 13, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: CND-13-1183; doi: 10.1115/1.4026156 History: Received July 17, 2013; Revised November 27, 2013

This work is to develop an experiment-validated numerical model to elucidate the wave transmission mechanisms through a surrogate head under blast loading. Repeated shock tube tests were conducted on a surrogate head, i.e., water-filled polycarbonate shell. Surface strain on the skull simulant and pressure inside the brain simulant were recorded at multiple locations. A numerical model was developed to capture the shock wave propagation within the shock tube and the fluid-structure interaction between the shock wave and the surrogate head. The obtained numerical results were compared with the experimental measurements. The experiment-validated numerical model was then used to further understand the wave transmission mechanisms from the blast to the surrogate head, including the flow field around the head, structural response of the skull simulant, and pressure distributions inside the brain simulant. Results demonstrated that intracranial pressure in the anterior part of the brain simulant was dominated by the direct blast wave propagation, while in the posterior part it was attributed to both direct blast wave propagation and skull flexure, which took effect at a later time. This study served as an exploration of the physics of blast-surrogate interaction and a precursor to a realistic head model.

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Fig. 1

A 711 mm (28 in.) square shock tube apparatus

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Fig. 2

Locations of (a) pressure sensors in the water and (b) strain gauges on the surface of the polycarbonate shell

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Fig. 3

Experimentally measured Friedlander-type incident pressure history

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Fig. 4

Finite element model of surrogate head subjected to blast loading (cut view in transverse plane)

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Fig. 5

Experiment and numerical comparison of pressure histories in the brain simulant, i.e., water, at locations: (a) P1, (b) P2, and (c) P3

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Fig. 6

Experiment and numerical comparison of surface strains on the skull simulant, i.e., the polycarbonate shell, at locations: (a) S1, (b) S2, (c) S3, (d) S4, and (e) S5

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Fig. 7

Reflected pressure histories measured at five locations around the surrogate head

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Fig. 8

Spatial and temporal vector plots of the displacement in the transverse plane of the skull simulant (deformation scale factor of 50)

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Fig. 9

Typical pressure contour inside the brain simulant at t = 0.625 ms (unit: MPa)

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Fig. 10

Pressure histories along the centerline of the brain simulant (cut view in transverse plane)

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Fig. 11

Pressure distribution in the vicinity of the surrogate head: (a) flow separation at t = 0.88 ms, and (b) flow reattachment at t = 1.05 ms

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Fig. 12

Blast overpressure, surface strain, and intracranial pressure at five marked locations (a) M1, (b) M2, (c) M3, (d) M4, and (e) M5



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