Finite Element Modeling of Brain Injury for Performance Evaluation of Football Helmets
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Football helmets worn today are primarily designed to prevent skull fracture and irreversible brain injury. In that limited respect, today’s helmets are a success with the frequency of reported football-related skull fracture a rare occurrence. In recent decades, however, concussion, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are being reported with increasing incidence. Helmet manufacturing companies are limited in their performance analysis of helmets, with no standard helmet testing procedures incorporating anatomical data or physiological weaknesses of the brain. Finite Element Modeling of the brain has allowed for analysis of the mechanics of brain injury and can provide injury metrics based on simulated brain injury. In this study the background on current helmet testing procedures is provided as well as a finite element study of brain injury to determine helmet performance. In addition, this modeling will be used to identify what types of impacts are most dangerous.
- Mechanical engineering