The majority of engineering studies that quantify the biomechanical tolerance of the human skull to blunt impacts have been focused primarily on replicating automotive-related trauma [1]. Relatively little biomechanical data exists on skull fracture tolerance due to impacts with small surface area objects moving at high velocity, previously defined as blunt, ballistic impacts [2]. These impacts can occur with the deployment of less-lethal kinetic energy munitions that are now available to police and military personnel. The goal of less-lethal munitions is to impart sufficient force to a subject to deter uncivil, or hazardous, behavior with minimal risk for serious or fatal injury. A basic understanding of human biomechanical response and tolerance to blunt ballistic impact is needed for all areas of the human body in order to guide the design of such munitions. Law enforcement are trained to direct such munitions away from the head and at body regions such as the legs, however impacts to the head have occurred [3]. Previous research efforts have investigated facial impact tolerance to blunt ballistic impacts [4] however data regarding the temporo-parietal region are lacking. The goal of this research project is to provide basic bone strain data on temporo-parietal skull fracture for the purpose of developing finite element models of the human skull and fracture criterion for future study of blunt ballistic head impact.

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