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Effect of helmet mass and mass center on neck muscle strength in military pilots

JIA Xiao-hong1,MAO Jun-bing1,WANG Ren-cheng1,PU Fang2,SUN Fang3(1.Division of Intelligent and Biomechanical System,State Key Laboratory of Tribology,Tsinghua University,Beijing 100084,China;2.School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering,Beihang University,Beijing 100191,China;3.Applications and Computation Service Center of CMVHuman,Shanghai 200030,China)  
Objective To investigate the effect from helmet mass and deviation of mass center on neck muscle activity in military pilots.Methods Based on AnyBody software platform,a musculoskeletal model of head neck complex was established including C0,C1-C7,T1 and 136 muscles.Concentrated loads were applied to simulate the role of helmet.Strength from seven main muscle groups under different helmet mass,mass center and +Gz acceleration loads were simulated and calculated.Results When mass center of the helmet and the head coincided with each other,the muscle groups(such as semispinalis,levator scapulae,splenius capitis and cervicis) which took charge of extension were activated.Muscle strength increased with helmet mass linearly and +Gz acceleration loads would make this increase multiplied.Flexion muscle began to work when mass center of the helmet moved backward,so did the lateral bending muscles when mass center of helmet moved in the right-and-left direction.Conclusions Helmet mass and its center have an obvious influence on neck muscle activity in military pilots.The musculoskeletal model established in this paper can be used to calculate the change in muscle strength under different situations and conduct a quantitative analysis for helmet design and validation.
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