Navigation Links
Researchers hit virtual heads to make safer games
Date:9/12/2013

PULLMAN, Wash. Two nearly identical softballs, both approved for league play, can have dramatically different effects when smacked into a player's head.

Those are the findings from a study conducted by Professor Lloyd Smith in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and project engineer Derek Nevins that they will present at the Asia Pacific Congress on Sports Technology later this month in Hong Kong. Their work was published in the journal, Procedia Engineering.

Smith's group developed a unique model of a softball that they electronically throw at a virtual head to better understand and prevent injuries.

About a quarter of the injuries that happen on the softball field come from players getting hit with a ball, either thrown or batted at them. Most vulnerable are the pitcher, base runner, and third baseman. When they do occur, the injuries are almost always serious, oftentimes including a bone fracture, says Smith.

In many sports, balls are standardized for consistency and performance. But, researchers haven't understood specifically how the balls' different properties and materials affect player safety. They haven't been able to measure just how much or how it hurts when a ball hits a head.

While there have been human models for years, the ball is the hard part, says Smith. Models of softball collisions are especially challenging because of a low Coefficient of Restitution, or how the energy is transferred between the ball and what it hits, he says. Depending on its elasticity and its stiffness, the ball deforms and dissipates energy differently.

The researchers married the ball model they developed with Thums, or the Total Human Model for Safety. Thums sits on a computer screen a perfect, computerized skeletal model of a head developed by Toyota for crash testing. He has a rainbow of different colored eye sockets, teeth, and detailed skull features, including the temporal and parietal bone, facial muscles, and even his cerebrospinal fluid. He looks like he's smiling, although it's not clear he's still smiling when the ball comes at the front and side of his head at between 60 and 120 miles per hour. He is called a 50th percentile male -- or an average guy.

In their study with the softball model, the researchers determined that two softballs that are commonly used for the same level of amateur play have significantly different properties and result in big differences in potential injury. The two balls differed in stiffness by 30 percent. Testing against a virtual head resulted in as much as a 64 percent difference in bone stress, or how badly he was hurt.

"For most impact conditions, bone stress exceeded the assumed bone strength,'' write the researchers.

That means that their virtual head ended up with a serious fractured skull.

The researchers hope that their ball model work can be extended to better understand more subtle but serious collision injuries, such as concussions, as well as lead to improved protective equipment and injury prevention in a number of sports.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lloyd Smith
lvsmith@wsu.edu
509-335-3221
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 27, 2020 , ... CrucialTrak, a global designer and manufacturer of biometric ... Group (CEG) to market and sell its complete line of biometric readers and ... infrastructure optimization solutions . , Brett Mason, CrucialTrak’s Director of Channel Sales ...
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... ... interim results from their 1801 Phase 1/2 study (NCT03678883, EudraCT #: 2018-003739-32) will ... which will take place virtually on May 29th, 2020. Dr. Benedito Carneiro, Brown ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... ... May 21, 2020 , ... ClearStar, ... medical screening, announces the launch of a testing service aimed at supporting ... new service is provided by ClearStar’s Medical Information Services (“MIS”) business through ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2020)... ... May 15, 2020 , ... Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., a clinical-stage ... Ganz as Executive Chairman. Mr. Ganz will continue to lead Sentien’s Board of ... work closely with CEO Brian Miller and Sentien’s management team. , Mr. ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... May 13, 2020 ... ... new content hub called Future Lab: Optimizing Workflows in the Life Science ... them optimize workflows in their lab, from water purification and liquid handling to ...
(Date:5/5/2020)... YARDLEY, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2020 ... ... performance, and process solutions for the life sciences industry, today announced that Informa ... 2019, is officially changing its name to Red Nucleus Boston, effective immediately. , ...
(Date:5/1/2020)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2020 ... ... Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that ... is a revolutionary bioprinter for living cells, which has taken out the top ...
Breaking Biology Technology: