Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT), resulting from dynamic deformation of protective ballistic armor into the thorax, is currently assessed assuming a constant threshold of maximum backface deformation (44 mm). Although assessed for multiple impacts on the same armor, testing is focused on armor performance (shot-to-edge and shot-to-shot) without consideration of the underlying location on the thorax. Previous studies identified the importance of impacts over organs of animal surrogates wearing soft armor. However, the effect of impact location was not quantified outside the threshold of 44 mm. In the present study, a validated biofidelic advanced human thorax model (50th percentile male) was utilized to assess the BABT outcome from varying impact location. The thorax model was dynamically loaded using a method developed for re-creating BABT impacts, and BABT events within the range of real-world impact severities and locations were simulated. It was found that thorax injury depended on impact location for the same BFDs. Generally, impacts over high compliance locations (anterolateral rib cage) yielded increased thoracic compression and loading on the lungs leading to pulmonary lung contusion. Impacts at low compliance locations (top of sternum) yielded hard tissue fractures. Injuries to the sternum, ribs, and lungs were predicted at BFDs lower than 44 mm for low compliance locations. Location-based injury risk curves demonstrated greater accuracy in injury prediction. This study quantifies the importance of impact location on BABT injury severity and demonstrates the need for consideration of location in future armor design and assessment.

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