Initial validation of a relaxed human soft tissue simulant for sports impact surrogates

Impact injuries are a common occurrence in sport such that personal protective equipment (PPE) is often mandatory to ensure participant safety. Current tests to assess PPE effectiveness often use unrepresentative human surrogates, insufficient to accurately assess human impact response. More refined surrogates typically use “off the shelf” silicone elastomers to better represent human tissue, however using a single simulant material for all soft tissues means some phenomena associated with injury are not adequately represented. This study presents an evaluation of the effectiveness of a bespoke muscular tissue simulant using a proprietary blend of additive cure silicones. The mechanical response has been compared and validated with porcine tissue properties and provides improved behaviour when compared with a previously used silicone elastomer, Silastic 3481. The material has also been modelled computationally using a two-term Ogden model and exhibits a significantly different response to Silastic 3481 under a low-speed knee-strike loading condition.