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Reduction in Body Vibration and Spinal Impact With HACS Cushioning

[+] Author Affiliations
David P. Colvin

Triangle Research and Development Corporation

Richard A. McKinney

Sea Systems Group

Paper No. IMECE2005-82911, pp. 91-94; 4 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4213-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


High vibration and impact injuries continue to cause problems for military and civilian personnel in aircraft, trucks and armored vehicles. Crashes in helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as repetitive impacts in armored vehicles and trucks over rough terrain can pose serious problems and potential injuries for their occupants. Protective seat cushions can be engineered to absorb or mitigate a significant fraction of the mechanical energy before it is transmitted to the body. It has been shown, however, that conventional foam seat cushions can actually increase the potential for injury by allowing the body accelerations to overshoot. On the other hand, new and novel designs for cushioning materials can significantly reduce the potential for injuries from whole body vibration as well as spinal impact by extending and altering the duration of the high energy mechanical pulse. Based on unique computer models and subsequent CAD/CAM designs, prototype HACS seat cushions were fabricated from elastomers of three different durometers that incorporated precision, lateral choked airflow passages molded into the cushioning material. Subsequent testing with the NAVY Crew System Horizontal Accelerator at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD showed that the novel HACS seat cushion was 40% more effective than any other conventional aircraft seat cushion for the reduction of lumbar spinal load transmission to crash test dummies of all sizes during 23g impact tests. In more recent testing for the AAAV armored vehicle program, HACS seat cushioning has been shown to reduce whole body vibration by 36%.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Vibration



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