Santa Clara Conference Presentation

Blast Wave Simulation Video

This video simulates a skull and brain system being exposed to a blast wave of 1 atm using finite element analysis. The simulation lasts .003 seconds after the blast event. The geometry, simulation, and analysis were generated using ANSYS APDL software. The video is very long, but if you skip toward the middle you can see the characteristic coup-countercoup oscillation in the brain tissue as the pressure wave reflects inside the skull.


Development in military protective equipment has lead to decreased soldier mortality as a result of better protection from the effects of explosive blasts without providing protection from closed-head Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In this study, we expand upon the current methods of blast-induced TBI detection. We hypothesize that there exists a correlation between the dynamic pressure over the surface of the skull and the responses of brain tissue. We will use physical simulations of scaled-down blast waves to observe the pressure distribution over the surface of a surrogate headform. A computer model will simulate the material responses of brain tissue during these simulated blast events. Our conclusions can be used in the production of functional models to diagnose blast-induced TBI.

Research Question

What is the relationship between the pressure measurements over the surface of the skull and the pressure, strain rate and acceleration of brain tissue in a blast wave injury?


We hypothesize that different dynamic pressure distributions measured over the surface of the skull can be correlated with specific strain rates, pressures, and accelerations in brain tissue during a blast


Team BLAST's research timeline is as follows:

Spring 2012- Research Proposal Defense, Preliminary Experimentation

Fall 2012, Spring 2013- Experimentation and Data Collection

Fall 2013- Thesis Preparation, Data Compilation

Spring 2014- Thesis Defense

Research Papers and Presentations

Thesis Proposal Defense Presentation.ppt

Thesis Proposal.pdf