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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Ballistics Dummy? Reply to topic
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Ballistics Dummy?         Reply with quote

'K this is sorta from a Discovery Channel TV show, but before you roll your eyes hear the question.
In the show "Fight Science" they have these ballistics dummies, they have skeletons with artifical organs, that get covered in ballistics gel. They then have fighters hit them to determine effect. Does anyone know how well these replecate the human body? And could you get them for sword cutting/testing Big Grin ?
Thnx
Z
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Ballistics Dummy?         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
'K this is sorta from a Discovery Channel TV show, but before you roll your eyes hear the question.
In the show "Fight Science" they have these ballistics dummies, they have skeletons with artifical organs, that get covered in ballistics gel. They then have fighters hit them to determine effect. Does anyone know how well these replecate the human body? And could you get them for sword cutting/testing Big Grin ?
Thnx
Z


From what I can tell, they should be great for test cutting.

The problems of course being, damage to the sword from contact with the bone, and cost. I imagine something like that would be quite expensive.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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JŠnos Sibinger




Location: Hungary/France
Joined: 31 May 2009

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings! The other issue about these poor dummies is their resistance. If you would strike a human being -who would do such evil things- it would try to parry, try to resist, but if your momentum would be great enough, it would recoil. I was thinking a lot about this, since I would like to test the left over pieces of my shield, and I think that striking it on a big tree stump would not be realistic (becouse the lack of recoil).
About the cost of the dummies.. As I heared you can use gelatine for such purposes, and I think that the butcher might give you a hand... I mean some bones Big Grin
The fletcher (?) who made me my bow warned me to be careful with it. He suggested to shoot at a piece of meat to see the power of the bow. This might be a method too, but playing with the food... It has been never a custom in my home.
Cheers!

John
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think they'd be accurate simulators for testing the effect of swords. They're designed for testing the effects of bullets, and they're quite good for this. The effects of bullets on living things (from battlefield medicine, and experimental work on animals) and dead things (experiments on human bodies and animals) are well known, and ballistics dummies have been developed to "reproduce" these effects, as a substitute for animal and dead human targets (more uniform and consistent, standardisable, less paperwork and protest).

But swords damage by cutting through flesh, while bullets smush their way through, at a very different speed.

I'd have more faith in simulators designed for swords, by people who cut bodies with swords. Or simulators designed to be comparable to such simulators.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They might be useful for testing the effects of arrows.
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
Here is an article on the advantages and disadvantages of ballistics gel http://nldt2.arl.psu.edu/documents/ballistic_gelatin_report.pdf. I thought you might find it interesting. Also here is a company that sells loads of different styles of test dummies, however I did not see a "ballistics gel" one http://www.dummiesunlimited.com/
Hope this was of some use to you!
Cheers,
Hadrian

p.s. In a recent forensic study of the effects of knives on human flesh: polyurethane, compliant foam and ballistic soap, were used to simulate the response of skin, fat, and cartilage, respectively.
p.p.s Here is a bit of information on human flesh simulation http://www.mech.gla.ac.uk/Research/Colloquia/...stractID=2 and http://www.springerlink.com/content/65740761355nl157/

Historia magistra vitae est
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
Joined: 02 Sep 2008

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At Mythbuster recently (porbably an old episode for America) they used a meat dummy, produced by stiching pork meat over a plastic skeleton. A little messy, but it worked!
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian Coffin wrote:

p.p.s Here is a bit of information on human flesh simulation http://www.mech.gla.ac.uk/Research/Colloquia/...stractID=2 and ...


The "final product" of this one is:
Ankersen, Jesper. Quantifying the forces in stabbing incidents, PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, 1999.
http://www.mech.gla.ac.uk/Research/Theses/Thesis.html?ThesisID=21 which, alas, doesn't seem to be on www (other than the abstract).

Also:

Ankersen J., Birkbeck, A., Thomson, R., Vanezis, P. Puncture resistance and tensile strength of skin simulants. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - Part H, 1999, 213(6), pp 493-501.

Ankersen J., Birkbeck, A., Thomson, R., Vanezis, P. The effect of knife blade profile on penetration force in flesh simulants. Technology Law and Insurance, 1998, 3, pp 125-128.

Further on the general topic, a good general reference on cutting and penetration is: Tony Atkins, The Science and Engineering of Cutting, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2009. The preview on google books will give you a good idea of the content. Don't look here for specific answers to specific questions.
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Deadliest warrior is a show where they use similer dummies and all manner of speed and force tech for similer to what your asking,
tomahawks,katana,viking sword,claymore,ninja to, have all featured on the few shows i've caught,
in the uk its screened on the history channel,bravo and virgin one,
worth a look if you havent seen it,
only caught a couple of the fight science shows,but again,very interesting show, Cool
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee O'Hagan wrote:
Deadliest warrior is a show where they use similer dummies and all manner of speed and force tech for similer to what your asking,
tomahawks,katana,viking sword,claymore,ninja to, have all featured on the few shows i've caught,
in the uk its screened on the history channel,bravo and virgin one,
worth a look if you havent seen it,
only caught a couple of the fight science shows,but again,very interesting show, Cool


Sadly, that is oneof the worst shows historical accuracy wise I have had a displeasure to see. Of course, seeing someone whack the dummies around with various weaponry is fun, but that is all there is to the show.
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artis,
lol,i never mentioned historical accuracy, Wink
how many have you seen,?
for me,of late not having to watch peppa pig or postman pat,its a nice change,
its just a show i'd seen the ballistic dummies used,
the older i get,from experience,it seems historical accuracy is more a persons opinion,or the winners opinion written down in the history books,

today at work i was reliably informed the brits didnt even have sunshine till the romans gave it to them, Laughing Out Loud
from my roman co worker, Big Grin lovely chap though,plenty of time for us heathen uneducated celt types.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee O'Hagan wrote:
Artis,
lol,i never mentioned historical accuracy, Wink
how many have you seen,?
for me,of late not having to watch peppa pig or postman pat,its a nice change,
its just a show i'd seen the ballistic dummies used,
the older i get,from experience,it seems historical accuracy is more a persons opinion,or the winners opinion written down in the history books,

today at work i was reliably informed the brits didnt even have sunshine till the romans gave it to them, Laughing Out Loud
from my roman co worker, Big Grin lovely chap though,plenty of time for us heathen uneducated celt types.


To not derail the thread - that show had been discussed in here previously and responses have been.. rather heated shall we say, because people watching that sort of pseudoscience mean that they will be thinking it to be true. And thtat, in turn, means more and more work for serious researchers to convince them otherwise. And, for the record, by accuracy here I meant accuracy of weapons and armour displayed, which was pretty much non existant in most cases.

Anyways, back to the original purpose of the thread - I think that Dan noted the most suitable venue of such research - effect of the arrows on the flesh could be well worth the studdy using such devices.
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Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Truthfully, the use of ballistics gel was developed after shooting pig legs to evaluate bullet design. Gelatine was chosen for its apparent similarity to flesh for bullets. I wouldn't assume that this is true for swords as well.

It might be worthwhile for someone to test swords on meat and on various simulation materials, such as ballistics gel and tatami mats. We're waiting for a volunteer.

Keep in mind that the bones that they use in these models, whether plastic or real (but dead) bone, does not produce a realistic simulation of the movement of blades through live bone.
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Marcos Cantu





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

calibrated ballistic gelatin is made to simulate the resistance of the human body in general. it is not made specifically for bullets...
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Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marcos Cantu wrote:
calibrated ballistic gelatin is made to simulate the resistance of the human body in general. it is not made specifically for bullets...


How is it used by industry aside from testing bullets? Source?
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar, 2010 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ballistic gelatin is mostly water, held together by a network of proteins.

Human tissue is mostly water, held together by a network of proteins.

Sounds like it should be easy to match? A problem is the inhomogeneity of tissue. (As noted in the "Ballistic Gelatin" report linked earlier in the thread.

But is this a big problem? With the natural intended target of a sword, how much of the resistance to cuts is due to the soft wet tissue (i.e., what is represented by ballistic gelatin)? How much is due to skin and bone, perhaps tendons? How much is due to clothing? As long as its easy to cut, and holds its shape, it might work adequately as a target replacing soft tissue, even if it isn't a very good simulant for soft tissue with respect to cutting - a minor contribution to the whole process doesn't need to be modelled very accurately.

I think the overall mechanical properties of the entire block are important - the inertia and elasticity it presents as a backing to the skin-simulant and fabric/armour covering. The inertia part is easy - just be mostly water (a bottle of water, a water balloon, a watermelon, a wet sponge would all do), and have similar elasticity (and at the speeds of deformation that are relevant). I don't know how well BG does this; perhaps not so well, since it's designed to match the viscosity of tissue. Given that the elasticity of muscle isn't something we can represent with a single number (poke a relaxed muscle, then poke a tensed muscle), this is perhaps a little tricky. Matching dead meat doesn't mean matching live meat. But it becomes important at this point to model the whole body, and its motion when struck.

So, to do it properly is really quite hard. To do it "well enough" is much easier. Perhaps this would be a different mix to the usual BG. This might not give the correct resistance to cutting, but if it's still easy to cut, this might not matter.

PS. I was talking about cutting to a WMA beginner, pointing out the ease with which soft tissue can be cut. Just think about how easy it is to cut meat with a sharp knife when cooking, I say, to take advantage of our experience with cutting soft wet tissue. But this person (an adult - young, but still adult!) had never cut meat with a knife, so had no experience.
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Chris Mills




Location: Simi Valley
Joined: 03 Jun 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jun, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Ballistics Dummy         Reply with quote

So we Produce the Ballistics Gel Dummies at Silver Shamrock Lab. During season 2 of Deadliest Warrior we began to change the formulas of the gel depending on the test. For guns we stuck with the standard formula, But for the swords I toughened it up a bit. While this is still only a close aproximation of what might happen, we at least attempted to make the tests more acurate.

The only downfall for the Ballistics dummies is the lack of tendons and musel tone. They tent to tear and fall apart easiser than living flesh.
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Christopher H





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jun, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think muscle tone is a very important aspect... gel is a passive structure while muscle can change its properties by contracting... it would be interesting to see how much resistance changes with contraction... has anyone else done the frog leg experiment in physiology? Wink
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Eric Fick




Location: California
Joined: 16 Sep 2009

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Ballistics Dummy         Reply with quote

Chris Mills wrote:
So we Produce the Ballistics Gel Dummies at Silver Shamrock Lab. During season 2 of Deadliest Warrior we began to change the formulas of the gel depending on the test. For guns we stuck with the standard formula, But for the swords I toughened it up a bit. While this is still only a close aproximation of what might happen, we at least attempted to make the tests more acurate.

The only downfall for the Ballistics dummies is the lack of tendons and musel tone. They tent to tear and fall apart easiser than living flesh.


is this right? YOU make the ballistics Gel Dummies at silver shamrock lab? Any chance you sell them?

Cheers,

Eric Fick
Davenriche European Martial Artes Schoole
www.swordfightingschool.com
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Chris Mills




Location: Simi Valley
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes at Silver Shamrock Lab we do sell the Ballistics gel dummies.
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