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Computational modeling of human head under blast in confined and open spaces: primary blast injury



In this paper, a computational modeling for biomechanical analysis of primary blast injuries is presented. The responses of the brain in terms of mechanical parameters under different blast spaces including open, semi-confined, and confined environments are studied. In the study, the effect of direct and indirect blast waves from the neighboring walls in the confined environments will be taken into consideration. A 50th percentile finite element head model is exposed to blast waves of different intensities. In the open space, the head experiences a sudden intracranial pressure (ICP) change, which vanishes in a matter of a few milliseconds. The situation is similar in semi-confined space, but in the confined space, the reflections from the walls will create a number of subsequent peaks in ICP with a longer duration. The analysis procedure is based on a simultaneous interaction simulation of the deformable head and its components with the blast wave propagations. It is concluded that compared with the open and semi-confined space settings, the walls in the confined space scenario enhance the risk of primary blast injuries considerably because of indirect blast waves transferring a larger amount of damaging energy to the head. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.