Hybrid foetus with an FE head for a pregnant occupant model for vehicle safety investigations

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Acar B. S., Meric M., Esat V.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CRASHWORTHINESS, vol.23, no.5, pp.540-548, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13588265.2017.1359368
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.540-548
  • Keywords: Occupant safety, pregnant, foetus safety, modelling, simulation, FINITE-ELEMENT-ANALYSIS, INFANT SKULL, SUTURE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Expecting', a computational pregnant occupant model, developed to simulate the dynamic response to crash impacts, possesses anthropometric properties of a fifth percentile female at around the 38th week of pregnancy. The model is complete with a finite element uterus and a multi-body foetus which is a novel feature in models of this kind. In this paper, the effect of incorporating a foetus with a finite element head into Expecting' is investigated. The finite element head was developed using detailed anatomic geometry and projected material properties. Then it was integrated with the Expecting' model and validated using the lap belt loading and the rigid bar impact tests. The model is then used to simulate frontal impacts at a range of crash severities with seatbelt and airbag, seatbelt only, airbag only as well as no restraint cases to investigate the risk of placental abruption and compare it with the model featuring the original multi-body foetus. The maximum strains developed in the utero-placental interface are used as the main criteria for foetus safety. The results show comparable strain levels to those from the multi-body foetus. It is, therefore, recommended to use the multi-body foetus in simulations as the computation time is more favourable.