Human-structure dynamic interaction during short-distance free falls
Journal of Shock and Vibration
Hindawi Publishing Corporation,
Copyright © 2016 E. Shahabpoor and A. Pavic. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The dynamic interactions of falling human bodies with civil structures, regardless of their potentially critical effects, have sparsely been researched in contact biomechanics. The physical contact models suggested in the existing literature, particularly for short-distant falls in home settings, assume the human body falls on a “rigid” (not vibrating) ground. A similar assumption is usually made during laboratory-based fall tests, including force platforms. Based on observations from a set of pediatric head-first free fall tests, the present paper shows that the dynamics of the grounded force plate are not always negligible when doing fall test in a laboratory setting. By using a similar analogy for lightweight floor structures, it is shown that ignoring the dynamics of floors in the contact model can result in an up to 35% overestimation of the peak force experienced by a falling human. A nonlinear contact model is suggested, featuring an agent-based modelling approach, where the dynamics of the falling human and the impact object (force plate or a floor structure here) are each modelled using a single-degree-of-freedom model to simulate their dynamic interactions. The findings of this research can have wide applications in areas such as impact biomechanics and sports science.
The authors acknowledge the financial support which came from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for Platform Grant EP/G061130/2 (Dynamic Performance of Large Civil Engineering Structures: An Integrated Approach to Management, Design, and Assessment) and EP/K03877X/1 (Modelling Complex and Partially Identified Engineering Problems: Application to the Individualized Multiscale Simulation of the Musculoskeletal System).
This is the final version of the article. Available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Volume 2016, Article ID 2108676