ESI Group’s Dummy Model Simulates Whiplash Effect in Automobile Crashes

Chicago, October 2, 2007 (word count: 885)
ESI Group, pioneer and world leading provider of digital simulation software, based on the physics of materials, today announced the release of Version 2.0 of BioRID-II (Biofidelic Rear Impact Dummy, model) for PAM-CRASH/PAM-SAFE 2G. This first industrial version of the newest BioRID-II dummy has an articulated thoracic/lumbar spine similar to the human one (having 24 vertebrae). The neck is maintained under pre-tension load via a muscle substitute consisting of a single damper mounted in parallel with a flexor and an extensor spring. The abdomen is filled with a water cavity and the torso texture is a soft silicon rubber.

“This FE dummy model brings a leading edge advantage in the design and optimization of car seats to improve protection from whiplash injuries and therefore meet the challenge of the sixth star at EuroNCAP. By using BioRID-II dummy car manufacturers enhance seat-frame structure so that it absorbs more energy and reduces rebound effects, which is decisive to assure the safety of the car occupants during a car crash,” says Peter Ullrich, Crash Safety and Impact product Manager, ESI Group.

BioRID-II with PAM-CRASH/PAM-SAFE 2G makes it possible to accurately simulate the acceleration, force, and the kinematics of a car occupant in order to minimize the whiplash injuries that can occur during a rear crash. Whiplash hurls the head violently backward (hyperextension) and forward (hyperflexion). The injury is even worse when the head is turned to the side at the time of the accident.

Whiplash is the most common case of injuries in car crashes. One out of seven whiplash victims will still suffer significant pain more than three years after the accident. These kind of injuries are therefore associated with serious medical consequences (they can affect intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerves) and significant societal costs. The resulting claims cost Germany an average of EUR 500 million per year (GDV, German Insurances Report, 2004/2005). Reducing these numbers is a challenge for all the engineers involved in improving the safety of the car occupants.

BioRID-II dummy model was validated on series of component tests over the torso, head, neck and spine assemblies and on sled tests. The sled tests were performed for three representative pulses on a test device with a deformable back rest calibrated to reproduce the behavior of typical car seats.

This FE model was developed in a FAT (the German Association for Automotive Research) Project in cooperation with all the German car makers (Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Karmann, Opel, Porsche, and Volkswagen), seat manufacturers (Hammerstein, Johnson Controls, and Keiper) and Denton COE, the manufacturer of the hardware dummy.

To rent the FE Model of the BioRID-II please contact your ESI Group’s representative or visit

ESI Group’s Crash, Occupant Safety, and Biomechanics solutions:
PAM-CRASH 2G, the virtual testing solution for crash and safety professionals comprises three main components: firstly a solver offering state-of-the-art physics-based models for crash and other impact problems, its key capabilities include advanced material models, coupling with manufacturing process simulation, a mesh-free CFD method for airbag modeling, and a highly scalable parallel solution; secondly the visual environment portfolio, a suite of highly productive cae process automation products; finally validated compute models including crash test dummies, impactors, barriers, and a unique family of human body models.

About ESI Group:
ESI Group is a world-leading supplier, and a pioneer of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the physics of materials. ESI Group has developed an extensive suite of coherent, industry oriented applications to realistically simulate a product’s behavior during testing, to fine-tune manufacturing processes in accordance with desired product performance, and evaluate the environment’s impact on product performance. ESI Group’s products, which have a proven track record in manufacturing and have been combined in multi-trade value chains, represent a unique collaborative and open virtual engineering solution known as the Virtual Try-Out Space (VTOS), enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a continuous and collaborative manner. This integrated protocol allows all the company’s solutions to work with each other and with applications developed by independent software vendors. By significantly reducing costs and development lead times and enabling product/process synergies, VTOS solutions offer major competitive advantage by progressively eliminating the need for physical prototypes during product development. The company generated sales of nearly $90 million in 2006, employs more than 600 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 30 countries. ESI Group is listed in Eurolist compartment C of Euronext Paris. For further information, visit

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