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The University of Southampton

Research project: Study of the dynamics of the suspension-seat-occupant system exposed to tri-axis translational vibration

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The study focuses on the biodynamics and seating dynamics of the suspension-seat and human body system to improve the ride comfort of vehicles such as passenger coach. The objective of this study is to further the understanding in the effect of excitation magnitudes and the suspension seat dynamics on the interaction between the seat and the human body in tri-axis vibrational environment to improve the design of the seat and the ride comfort on the coaches and buses. This project is funded by China Main Vehicle Tech Corporation.

Suspension seats are widely used in heavy vehicles to attenuate the vertical vibration transmitted to the seated drivers. However, the vibrational environment on many heavy vehicles is multi-axial, while the interaction between the suspension seat and the seated human body in such an environment has not been much studied. This study aims to understand the effect of the magnitude of excitation in various axis and the backrest inclination on the apparent mass of the human body and the transmissibility of the suspension seat under tri-axis translational vibration.

Then the in-line and cross-axis apparent masses of subjects are measured in the laboratory under single-axis and tri-axis translational vibrations with various magnitudes in each direction and various backrest inclination angles. It is aimed to discover how the magnitude of excitations and the inclination of the backrest would affect the apparent mass of the seated human body when exposed to the tri-axis excitation.

The transmission of tri-axis vibration through the suspension seat will then be studied in the laboratory with the measurement of the transmissibilities of the suspension mechanism loaded with inert masses, the suspension seat loaded with inert masses and with subjects. The excitations and the angle of the inclination of the backrest are the same as those used in the measurement of the apparent masses under tri-axis excitations. It is expected that similar to the apparent mass, the transmissibility of the suspension seat in each direction will be affected by the suspension mechanism, the seat cushion, the human body and the support of the backrest.

Based on the experimental studies, the multi-body models of the human body and the suspension seat exposed to tri-axis excitation will be developed and calibrated using the apparent mass and the transmissibility of the suspension seat with inert mass measured in the laboratory, respectively. The suspension-seat-and-occupant model should give a satisfactory prediction of the transmissibility of the suspension seat under tri-axis excitation when a subject was seated, compared with the corresponding measurement data.

Related research groups

Dynamics Group
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