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Aspects of seat modelling for seating comfort analysis

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Author: Verver, M.M. · Lange, R. de · Hoof, J.F.A.M. van · Wismans, J.S.H.M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Amsterdam
Institution: TNO Industrie en Techniek
Source:Applied Ergonomics, 1, 36, 33-42
Identifier: 238274
Keywords: Traffic · Multi-body · Seat experiments · Seat modelling · Computer simulation · Mechanical properties · Automobile seats · Biomechanics · Body posture · Human Engineering


The development of more comfortable seats is an important issue in the automotive industry. However, the development of new car seats is very time consuming and costly since it is typically based on experimental evaluation using prototypes. Computer models of the human-seat interaction could accelerate this process. The objective of this paper is to establish a protocol for the development of seat models using numerically efficient simulation techniques. The methodology is based on multi-body techniques: arbitrary surfaces, providing an accurate surface description, are attached to rigid bodies. The bodies are connected by kinematic joints, representing the seat back recliner and head restraint joint. Properties of the seat foam and frame have been lumped together. Further, experiments have been defined to characterise the mechanical properties required for the seat model for comfort applications. The protocol has been exemplified using a standard car seat. The seat model has been validated based on experiments with rigid loading devices with human-like shapes in terms of force-deflection characteristics. The response of the seat model agrees well with the experimental results. Therefore the presented method can be a useful tool in the seat development process, especially in early stages of the design process.