Computational simulations are becoming more important in automotive safety engineering. To simulate the occupants during the crash environment, dummies are currently used to represent the occupants. However, current dummies and dummy models lack the detailed information to predict the occupant injuries during a crash. And for the human thorax models, simplified geometry and non strain-rate material properties were used for the rib cage with no ability to simulate the rib fractures often seen in an automotive crash. Therefore, a detailed finite element human thorax model with proper material properties and the capability to simulate the rib fractures is needed to better understand the thoracic injuries under frontal and side impacts.
The current thorax model, based on a previous skeleton model with heart and lung by Deng et al. . used digital surface images to construct the three-dimensional finite element representation of the spine, rib cage, arms, surface muscles, heart, lungs, and major blood vessels. Strain-rate-dependent properties were utilized for the rib cage. With the rib fracture prediction, the model showed good correlation with the test results.