Impact energy of everyday items used for assault

Siegenthaler, Lea; Sprenger, Florian D; Kneubühl, Beat P.; Jackowski, Christian (2018). Impact energy of everyday items used for assault. International journal of legal medicine, 132(1), pp. 211-217. Springer 10.1007/s00414-017-1689-0

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Blunt force is a frequently used type of violence especially because it can be performed with basically every object of our daily lives or with bare hands or feet. The injuries and medical consequences have been widely examined, whereas the forces and especially the energies acting on impact have rarely been analyzed. The aim of the present study is to provide the impact energy and its ranges of four longish everyday items with different characteristics for male and female offenders. Additionally, the moment of inertia (MOI) for all the objects was calculated and its influence on the energy determined. A combination wrench, aluminum pipe, golf club, and spade were chosen as representatives of the four categories short, medium length with the center of mass (COM) in the middle, medium length with the COM close to the hitting point, and long and heavy. A total of 880 strikes have been performed by 11 volunteers. The results show the mean energy values of wrench, pipe, golf club, and spade for men of 51.1, 74.4, 93.5, and 166.7 J. For women, the results are 33.0, 41.0, 56.5, and 76.8 J. Knowing the energy thresholds for certain fractures and injuries, these results help to assess whether a claimed hit may have caused the fracture or injury or not.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Physics (Ballistics)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Siegenthaler, Lea; Kneubühl, Beat P. and Jackowski, Christian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

17 Oct 2017 09:48

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2018 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Aluminum pipe; Blunt force trauma; Combination wrench; Golf club; Horizontal striking; Impact energy; Spade




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