Human-Structure Dynamic Interaction During Short-Distance Free Falls

Erfan Shahabpoor Ardakani, Aleksandar Pavic

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4 Citations (SciVal)


The dynamic interactions of falling human bodies with civil structures, regardless of their potentially critical effects, have sparsely been researched in contact biomechanics. The physical contact models suggested in the existing literature, particularly for short-distant falls in home settings, assume the human body falls on a “rigid” (not vibrating) ground. A similar assumption is usually made during laboratory-based fall tests, including force platforms. Based on observations from a set of pediatric head-first free fall tests, the present paper shows that the dynamics of the grounded force plate are not always negligible when doing fall test in a laboratory setting. By using a similar analogy for lightweight floor structures, it is shown that ignoring the dynamics of floors in the contact model can result in an up to 35% overestimation of the peak force experienced by a falling human. A nonlinear contact model is suggested, featuring an agent-based modelling approach, where the dynamics of the falling human and the impact object (force plate or a floor structure here) are each modelled using a single-degree-of-freedom model to simulate their dynamic interactions. The findings of this research can have wide applications in areas such as impact biomechanics and sports science.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2108676
Number of pages12
JournalShock and Vibration
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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