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Assessment of bullet effectiveness based on a human vulnerability model
  1. Susu Liu1,
  2. C Xu2,
  3. Y Wen2,
  4. G Li3 and
  5. J Zhou1
  1. 1School of Mechanical Engineering, Nantong University, Nantong, China
  2. 2School of Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  3. 3Research Institute of Field Surgery, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
  1. Correspondence to Mr Susu Liu, School of Mechanical Engineering, Nantong University, Nantong 226019,China ; liususu1006{at} and Professor C Xu, School of Mechanical Engineering Nanjing University of Science and Technology Nanjing China ; xucheng62{at}


Introduction Penetrating wounds from explosively propelled fragments and bullets are the most common causes of combat injury. There is a requirement to assess the potential effectiveness of bullets penetrating human tissues in order to optimise preventive measures and wound trauma management.

Methods An advanced voxel model based on the Chinese Visible Human data was built. A digital human vulnerability model was established in combination with wound reconstruction and vulnerability assessment rules, in which wound penetration profiles were obtained by recreating the penetration of projectiles into ballistic gelatin. An effectiveness evaluation method of bullet penetration using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was developed and solved using the Monte Carlo sampling method.

Results The effectiveness of rifle bullets was demonstrated to increase with increasing velocity in the range of 300–700 m/s. When imparting the same energy, the effectiveness of the 5.56 mm bullet was higher than the 7.62 mm bullet in this model.

Conclusions The superimposition of simulant penetration profiles produced from ballistic gelatin simulant has been used to predict wound tracts in damaged tissues. The authors recognise that determining clinical effectiveness based on the AIS scores alone without verification of outcome by review of clinical hospital records means that this technique should be seen more as a manner of comparing the effectiveness of bullets than an injury prediction model.

  • wound ballistics
  • penetration
  • human voxel model
  • effectiveness assessment
  • vulnerability

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  • Contributors Design: SL, CX. Literature review: YW, JZ, GL. Manuscript preparation: SL.

  • Funding This project is supported by Qing Lan Project and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No 51575279, 115022119).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by Laboratory Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee of the Third Military Medical University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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