Behind Shield Blunt Trauma: Characterizing the Back-Face Deformation of Shields with a Focus on Upper Limb Loading
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Shield back-face deformation (BFD) is the result of composite ballistic shields deflecting or absorbing a projectile's energy and deforming towards the user. BFD can result in localized loading to the upper extremity, where the shield is secured to the user. An augmented anthropomorphic test device upper extremity was used to quantify this applied load. Four locations along the upper extremity were tested-the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow-for investigating differing boundary conditions and their effect on resultant load. Varying stand-off distances, the distance between the back of the shield and the force sensor, were investigated. Digital image correlation was also conducted to measure the dynamic displacement of the shield. The mean peak back-face velocity of the shield was 208.4 ± 38.8 m/s, while the average affected area was 1505 ± 158.3 mm2. Impulse was not significantly affected by anatomical location for the same stand-off distance; however, as stand-off distance decreased, the measured force significantly increased (p < 0.05). Notably, impact duration did not differ significantly for any of the impact scenarios. This is the first step in developing injury criteria for this region resulting from behind shield blunt trauma, and these data will be used for developing injury thresholds in post-mortem human surrogates.
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