Dynamic finite element simulation of the gunshot injury to the human forehead protected by polyvinyl alcohol sponge

Alireza Karimi, Reza Razaghi, Mahdi Navidbakhsh, Toshihiro Sera, Susumu Kudo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Although there are some traditional models of the gunshot wounds, there is still a need for more modeling analyses due to the difficulties related to the gunshot wounds to the forehead region of the human skull. In this study, the degree of damage as a consequence of penetrating head injuries due to gunshot wounds was determined using a preliminary finite element (FE) model of the human skull. In addition, the role of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponge, which can be used as an alternative to reinforce the kinetic energy absorption capacity of bulletproof vest and helmet materials, to minimize the amount of skull injury due to penetrating processes was investigated through the FE model. Digital computed tomography along with magnetic resonance imaging data of the human head were employed to launch a three-dimensional (3D) FE model of the skull. Two geometrical shapes of projectiles (steel ball and bullet) were simulated for penetrating with an initial impact velocity of 734 m/s using nonlinear dynamic modeling code, namely LS-DYNA. The role of the damaged/distorted elements were removed during computation when the stress or strain reached their thresholds. The stress distributions in various parts of the forehead and sponge after injury were also computed. The results revealed the same amount of stress for both the steel ball and bullet after hitting the skull. The modeling results also indicated the time that steel ball takes to penetrate into the skull is lower than that of the bullet. In addition, more than 21 % of the steel ball’s kinetic energy was absorbed by the PVA sponge and, subsequently, injury sternness of the forehead was considerably minimized. The findings advise the application of the PVA sponge as a substitute strengthening material to be able to diminish the energy of impact as well as the load transmitted to the object.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number74
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Biophysics
    • Bioengineering
    • Biomaterials
    • Biomedical Engineering


    Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic finite element simulation of the gunshot injury to the human forehead protected by polyvinyl alcohol sponge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this