A detailed 3D finite element model (FEM) of the sheep thorax was developed to predict heterogeneous and volumetric lung injury due to blast. A shared node mesh of the sheep thorax was constructed from a computed tomography (CT) scan of a sheep cadaver, and while most material properties were taken from literature, an elastic–plastic material model was used for the ribs based on three-point bending experiments performed on sheep rib specimens. Anesthetized sheep were blasted in an enclosure, and blast overpressure data were collected using the blast test device (BTD), while surface lung injury was quantified during necropsy. Matching blasts were simulated using the sheep thorax FEM. Surface lung injury in the FEM was matched to pathology reports by setting a threshold value of the scalar output termed the strain product (maximum value of the dot product of strain and strain-rate vectors over all simulation time) in the surface elements. Volumetric lung injury was quantified by applying the threshold value to all elements in the model lungs, and a correlation was found between predicted volumetric injury and measured postblast lung weights. All predictions are made for the left and right lungs separately. This work represents a significant step toward the prediction of localized and heterogeneous blast lung injury, as well as volumetric injury, which was not recorded during field testing for sheep.

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