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Research Papers

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Combat Eyewear Protection Against Blast Overpressure

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Sundaramurthy

Department of Defense,
Biotechnology High Performance Computing
Software Applications Institute,
Telemedicine and Advanced Technology
Research Center,
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command,
504 Scott Street,
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
e-mail: asundaramurthy@bhsai.org

M. Skotak

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Center for Injury Biomechanics, Materials
and Medicine,
New Jersey Institute of Technology,
University Heights,
Newark, NJ 07102
e-mail: maciej.skotak@njit.edu

E. Alay

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Center for Injury Biomechanics, Materials
and Medicine,
New Jersey Institute of Technology,
University Heights,
Newark, NJ 07102
e-mail: ea79@njit.edu

G. Unnikrishnan

Department of Defense,
Biotechnology High Performance Computing
Software Applications Institute,
Telemedicine and Advanced Technology
Research Center,
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command,
504 Scott Street,
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
e-mail: gunnikrishnan@bhsai.org

H. Mao

Department of Defense,
Biotechnology High Performance Computing
Software Applications Institute,
Telemedicine and Advanced Technology
Research Center,
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command,
504 Scott Street,
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
e-mail: hmao@bhsai.org

X. Duan

Department of Defense,
Biotechnology High Performance Computing
Software Applications Institute,
Telemedicine and Advanced Technology
Research Center,
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command,
504 Scott Street,
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
e-mail: xduan@bhsai.org

S. T. Williams

Visual Protection and Performance Division,
U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory,
Bldg. 6901, Farrel Road,
Fort Rucker, AL 36362
e-mail: steven.t.williams26.ctr@mail.mil

T. H. Harding

Visual Protection and Performance Division,
U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory,
Bldg. 6901, Farrel Road,
Fort Rucker, AL 36362
e-mail: thomas.h.harding.civ@mail.mil

N. Chandra

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Center for Injury Biomechanics, Materials and
Medicine,
New Jersey Institute of Technology,
University Heights,
Newark, NJ 07102
e-mail: namas.chandra@njit.edu

J. Reifman

Department of Defense,
Biotechnology High Performance Computing
Software Applications Institute,
Telemedicine and Advanced Technology
Research Center,
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command,
504 Scott Street,
Fort Detrick, MD 21702
e-mail: jaques.reifman.civ@mail.mil

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received August 7, 2017; final manuscript received March 19, 2018; published online April 19, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Barclay Morrison.

J Biomech Eng 140(7), 071003 (Apr 19, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1344; doi: 10.1115/1.4039823 History: Received August 07, 2017; Revised March 19, 2018

It is unclear whether combat eyewear used by U. S. Service members is protective against blast overpressures (BOPs) caused by explosive devices. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which BOP bypasses eyewear and increases eye surface pressure. We performed experiments and developed three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) models of a head form (HF) equipped with an advanced combat helmet (ACH) and with no eyewear, spectacles, or goggles in a shock tube at three BOPs and five head orientations relative to the blast wave. Overall, we observed good agreement between experimental and computational results, with average discrepancies in impulse and peak-pressure values of less than 15% over 90 comparisons. In the absence of eyewear and depending on the head orientation, we identified three mechanisms that contributed to pressure loading on the eyes. Eyewear was most effective at 0 deg orientation, with pressure attenuation ranging from 50 (spectacles) to 80% (goggles) of the peak pressures observed in the no-eyewear configuration. Spectacles and goggles were considerably less effective when we rotated the HF in the counter-clockwise direction around the superior-inferior axis of the head. Surprisingly, at certain orientations, spectacles yielded higher maximum pressures (80%) and goggles yielded larger impulses (150%) than those observed without eyewear. The findings from this study will aid in the design of eyewear that provides better protection against BOP.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic representation of a 711-mm square cross-sectional shock tube, indicating the driver section, driven section, and test section. We used a BOP sensor to measure the pressure of the oncoming blast wave in the driven section. We equipped the HF used in the experiment with two pressure sensors, one on each eye, outfitted the HF with an ACH, and assessed two eyewear protective equipment, the revision Sawfly spectacles and the Arena Flakjak goggles. (b) FE model of the head equipped with ACH for no eyewear, spectacles, and goggles.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) We investigated the effects of orientation by performing experiments and simulations at five orientations 0 (head on), 45, 90, 135, and 180 deg with and without eyewear and (b) experimentally measured pressure-time profiles (N = 3) for incident BOPs of 70, 140, and 210 kPa (line and shaded region; mean ± one standard deviation)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Maximum average pressure from experiments (markers and vertical lines; mean ± one standard deviation) (N = 3) and simulations (bars) on the left and right eyes at BOPs of 70, 140, and 210 kPa for three eyewear conditions and five head orientations relative to the incident BOP

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Left eye surface pressure-time profile comparisons between experiments (red line (grey in B/W) and shaded region; mean ±  standard deviation) (N = 3) and simulations (blue line (black in B/W)) at 210 kPa BOP for three eyewear conditions and five head orientations relative to the incident BOP

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Right eye surface pressure-time profile comparisons between experiments (red line (grey in B/W) and shaded region; mean ±  standard deviation) (N = 3) and simulations (blue line (black in B/W)) at 210 kPa BOP for three eyewear conditions and five head orientations relative to the incident BOP

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Evolution of BOP on the LE and RE at the cross section of the HF and helmet (H) models seen from the top. (a) At 90 deg, we observed a BOP approaching the head at t = 0.20 ms, directly interacting (white arrow) with the RE at t = 0.27 ms, and reflecting off the nose and reloading the eye (white arrow) at t = 0.36 ms. (b) At 135 deg, we observed diffracted pressures engulfing the helmet and HF (white arrow) at t = 0.41 ms, followed by the formation of a PS from the combination of the diffracted pressures at t = 0.58 ms and the PS loading the LE (white arrow) at t = 0.75 ms.

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