The transmission of vertical vibration through seats: influence of the characteristics of the human body

Toward, Martin G.R. and Griffin, Michael J. (2011) The transmission of vertical vibration through seats: influence of the characteristics of the human body Journal of Sound and Vibration, 330, (26), pp. 6526-6543. (doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2011.07.033).


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The transmission of vibration through a seat depends on the impedance of the seat and the apparent mass of the seat occupant. This study was designed to determine how factors affecting the apparent mass of the body (age, gender, physical characteristics, backrest contact, and magnitude of vibration) affect seat transmissibility. The transmission of vertical vibration through a car seat was measured with 80 adults (41 males and 39 females aged 18–65) at frequencies between 0.6 and 20 Hz with two backrest conditions (no backrest and backrest), and with three magnitudes of random vibration (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m s-2 rms). Linear regression models were used to study the effects of subject physical characteristics (age, gender, and anthropometry) and features of their apparent mass (resonance frequency, apparent mass at resonance and at 12 Hz) on the measured seat transmissibility. The strongest predictor of both the frequency of the principal resonance in seat transmissibility and the seat transmissibility at resonance was subject age, with other factors having only marginal effects. The transmissibility of the seat at 12 Hz depended on subject age, body mass index, and gender. Although subject weight was strongly associated with apparent mass, weight was not strongly associated with seat transmissibility. The resonance frequency of the seat decreased with increases in the magnitude of the vibration excitation and increased when subjects made contact with the backrest. Inter-subject variability in the resonance frequency and transmissibility at resonance was less with greater vibration excitation, but was largely unaffected by backrest contact. A lumped parameter seat–person model showed that changes in seat transmissibility with age can be predicted from changes in apparent mass with age, and that the dynamic stiffness of the seat appeared to increase with increased loading so as to compensate for increases in subject apparent mass associated with increased sitting weight.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2011.07.033
ISSNs: 0022-460X (print)

Organisations: Human Sciences Group
ePrint ID: 201935
Date :
Date Event
27 August 2011e-pub ahead of print
19 December 2011Published
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 11:52
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:22
Further Information:Google Scholar

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