By Arjun (Ed.) Dangle

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The deformation can be defined by the total distances of the displacement in three dimensions and the time courses of these. The deformations are denoted strains (compression, tension and shear) and the forces acting within a material are usually denoted stresses. The relation between the external loading force and the resulting stresses and strains within a body is dependent upon the mechanical properties of the tissue (elasticity, viscosity etc) compare Fig. 2. Data on properties of living tissue (elasticity, plasticity and viscosity) are known to some extent 12, 13, 16, 63 , 67, 77 and are used in mathematical simulation 15, 39, 49, 58-

Pure translational acceleration is produced by a 01' tile lIead r-- -- - - - - - -- --" il Fig. 8. Illustrations of stress waves at an impact to curved shell. (From Lindgren 1966 52) Compression wave -------; tension wave ....... ; distortion wave - . - . - . - 38 D. 96 I • A.. I In. -' , \ I I I I I ,"_ ... -~r-:l;:::Si--1 Fig. 9. Illustration of translational and rotational movement. (From Ommaya and Gennarelli 1974 82 ) A Frontal impact Occipital impact 2 lII&ec. Fig. 10. Pressure changes at frontal and occipital impact to cadaver skull.

The skull is in its turn protected by the scalp. It has been estimated that the scalp yields a forty fold increase of the skull fracture tolerance level (blunt trauma). The cerebrospinal fluid has shock absorbing properties: a liquid applies uniform pressure without shearing stress to any surface it contacts (in this case the brain surface). Thus, the cerebrospinal fluid distributes any focally applied external pressure to a uniform stress which is also tolerated well by neural tissues. The density of the cerebrospinal fluid is slightly lower than that of the brain tissue why the brain will gradually sink.

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