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Shock and Vibration
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 39-59

Determination of Effective Thoracic Mass

Jeffrey H. Marcus

Civil Aeromedical Institute, Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of Transportation, USA

Received 21 January 1995; Accepted 29 August 1995

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Effective thoracic mass is an important parameter in specifying mathematical and mechanical models (such as crash dummies) of humans exposed to impact conditions. A method is developed using a numerical optimizer to determine effective thoracic mass (and mass distribution) given a number of acceleration signals and a force signal response. Utilizing previously reported lateral and frontal impact tests with human cadaveric test specimens in a number of different conditions, the effective thoracic mass is computed. The effective thoracic masses are then computed for a variety of crash dummies exposed to identical test conditions.