How to measure impact forces?

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How to measure impact forces?

Postby themaxj » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:57 pm

I am doing an experiment where I am testing the forces that occur when somebody headers the ball in soccer. I have most of my experiment figured out except for probably the most important part; how to measure the forces? Now what I really want to measure is specifically the impact force of the soccer ball and the head (G force, psi, anything along those lines). Is there any sensors or ways that would allow me to measure the impact force?
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Re: How to measure impact forces?

Postby edneu3 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:00 pm

This sounds like a great experiment, but one that will require some slightly sophisticated instrumentation.

You are on the right track. You need to be able to measure acceleration (g forces) and/or pressure (psi). The measurement of acceleration will be best. Most often, the damage that a person experiences when hit in the head has to do with the brain contacting the inside of the scull and causing a concussion. That's due to the acceleration imparted to the head, not the pressure of contact of the impact.

You will need to find a means to measure acceleration. The most direct method is to use an accelerometer. I helped a local high school science team with a project related to this last year. I had one of my engineers visit them and instrument their system with an accelerometer system, complete with computer data analysis package. You will need to contact someone local to you to do something similar.

I suggest you talk to your local science or technology teacher and see if they can recommend a local company to contact who would be willing to help you with your measurements.

Have fun with this great project.
Ed Neu
Buffalo, MN
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