In contact sports, head-to-head collisions can lead to concussions, which pose serious health risks to players. This research aims to understand the force transfer from the helmet to the brain that causes concussions in collisions using a rheological model. Experimental data was gathered from players in the National Football League and testing of one type of helmet and padding. The rheological model was verified with published data and good correlation was achieved. Further sensitivity analysis of concussion risk was performed with respect to force, body weight, mass, and impact duration fit to normal and Weibull distributions using Monte Carlo simulations of impacts. A 50% threshold for moderate concussion was found based on these physiological variables. Average weight and velocity values for an NFL player in a collision gave a 50% concussion risk to a helmet to helmet impact that has a deceleration over 6.365 ms or less. Analysis of children ranging from 10 to 15 years of age was also conducted with the assumption of identical equipment to NFL players due a dearth of other research into the properties of equipment used by children. As the equipment is assumed to decrease in quality over time, this established an upper bound to the tolerance values for children. For a 50th percentile weight 10 year old male or female child, this gives thresholds of 2.483 or 2.573 ms respectively.
& Goswami, T.
(2014). Rheological Model of Force Transmission Through the Helmet and Concussion Sensitivity. International Journal of Neurorehabilitation, 1 (3), 1000132.