Development of physical models to understand ballistic impact response of human craniums

Kwon, E, Das, R, Fernandez, J and Taylor, M 2014, 'Development of physical models to understand ballistic impact response of human craniums', in Raj Das, Sabu John (ed.) Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics 2014 (ACAM 8), Melbourne, Australia, 24-28 November 2014, pp. 41-50.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Development of physical models to understand ballistic impact response of human craniums
Author(s) Kwon, E
Das, R
Fernandez, J
Taylor, M
Year 2014
Conference name The 8th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics 2014 (ACAM 8)
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 24-28 November 2014
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics 2014 (ACAM 8)
Editor(s) Raj Das, Sabu John
Publisher Engineers Australia
Place of publication Barton, Australia
Start page 41
End page 50
Total pages 10
Abstract Understanding the mechanisms of ballistic impact to biological structures has considerable forensic importance. To investigate how a biological structure fails under ballistic impact, a controlled simulation of the ballistic event using appropriate models is required. This research focuses on establishing a physical model for human craniums. Conventional use of animal models and case studies lacks control over individual sample variation or specific experimental conditions. Also, the animal anatomy differs from that of a human. A physical model can overcome these difficulties as the geometry and materials used can be tailored. Two types of physical models were developed to analyse the ballistic wounding of a human cranium in a reliable and controlled fashion. First, a physical model of a simple geometry was utilized to test multiple materials to find suitable simulants for the skin and the bone. The second physical model had a complex geometry reflecting the anatomy of a female cranium. This model had an additional brain layer to represent the full cranial structure. The anatomical model successfully replicated the ballistic failure characteristics of a human cranium, such as bevelling of bones and backspatter. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the experimental results agreed well with the results of previous animal experiments. The anatomical model made of suitable simulant materials provided valuable inputs to the study of the ballistic failure of human craniums by identifying the major factors and the mechanisms of ballistic wounding including backspatter.
Subjects Materials Engineering not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Backspatter
Ballistic impact
Biomechanics
Forensics
Physical model
Simulant materials
Copyright notice © 2014 Engineers Australia
ISBN 9781922107350
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