Soldiers, fire fighters, athletes in contact sports and construction workers are often exposed to severe impact conditions like blast waves and blunt force trauma. They often end up suffering injuries that have life-long consequences resulting in huge health care costs. Even the state of the art in impact reduction technology is inadequate when it comes to absorbing impact. University of Texas Arlington’s research institute (UTARI) has developed a concept for reducing impact using arrays of interconnected bubbles filled with a fluid. The array is fabricated out of a soft elastic polymer that can be used as a helmet liner. When the helmet experiences an impact, the load is effectively distributed by the movement of the fluid among the array of interconnected bubble cells. A preliminary numerical modeling to demonstrate the ability of this design concept to reduce impact loads as the proof-of-concept has been carried out. Effect of various design parameters such as secondary bubble thickness, type of fluid, connecting channel size and impact velocity has been studied in this finite element simulation using ANSYS. This paper presents the results from this preliminary study.

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