Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Biomechanics


Volume 1, Issue 5, February-March, 2017

Pages: 116-125 DOI:

Automobile frontal impact on knee-thigh-hip complex

Author: A Sahoo, S Majumder, A Roychowdhury

Category: Biomechanics


The type of injury protection that are necessary to reduce the impact reaction force developed during automobile frontal impact on human knee- thigh- hip complex depends on the impact energy and body resistance. To find out the nature of impact reaction force it is necessary to analyze the behavior of occupant lower extremity during frontal impact. Objective of this study is to develop a finite element (FE) model of knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex and validate it experimentally under frontal impact load. A three-dimensional FE model of KTH complex with surrounding soft tissue was developed from the CT scan data. Bilinear, elasto-plastic and isotropic element-by-element material model for the pelvis and femur bone, and non-linear hyper-elastic material model for the soft tissue were considered. A cadaveric pelvic bone surrounded by soft tissue, fixed with the in house developed test-setup having piezoelectric based miniature load cell, was used for the experiment. Rigid impactor under 250J frontal impact energy, created maximum impact force of 6.85kN and 5.53kN at the contact regions for the FE analysis, whereas, it was 3.89kN for the experiment. The main causes of this difference may be due to energy loss during experiment, differences in bone properties, geometry and cortical bone thickness for the FE model and cadaveric pelvic bone. DOI:

Keywords: knee-thigh-hip complex, finite element analysis, pelvis, femur, frontal impact, peak impact force

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