Date of Award
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Does a brain store thoughts and memories the way a computer saves its files? How can a single hit or a fall erase all those memories? Brain Mapping and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have become widely researched fields today. Many researchers have been studying TBIs caused to adult American football players however youth athletes have been rarely considered for these studies, contradicting to the fact that American football enrolls highest number of collegiate and high-school children than adults. This research is an attempt to contribute to the field of youth TBIs.
Earlier studies have related head kinematics (linear and angular accelerations) to TBIs. However, fewer studies have dealt with brain kinetics (impact pressures and stresses) occurring during head-on collisions. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) drop tests were conducted for linear impact accelerations and the Head Impact Contact Pressures (HICP) calculated from them were applied to a validated FE model. The results showed lateral region of the head as the most vulnerable region to damage from any drop height or impact distance followed by posterior region. The TBI tolerance levels in terms of Von-Mises and Maximum Principal Stresses deduced for lateral impact were 30 MPa and 18 MPa respectively. These levels were corresponding to 2.625 feet drop height. The drop heights beyond this value will result in TBI causing stress concentrations in human head without any detectable structural damage to the brain tissue. This data can be utilized for designing helmets that provide cushioning to brain along with providing a resistance to shear.
Abhang, Chandrika S., "MEASURING HEAD IMPACT CONTACT PRESSURE IN COLLEGIATE FOOTBALL GAMES TO CORRELATE HEAD KINEMATICS TO BRAIN KINETICS ELUCIDATING BRAIN INJURY DYNAMICS", Master's report, Michigan Technological University, 2014.