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Vibration and Pressure Mitigating Cushion

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SBIR Report,01 Jan 2018,30 Jun 2018

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Discomfort and fatigue caused by sitting within ground combat vehicles reduces mission effectiveness and mission endurance in the short term, while the long-term health consequences of vibration exposure can reduce career endurance the ability to complete a military career without medical disability. As the direct interface between the human and the vehicle, the cushion provides both pressure mitigation and a significant portion of the overall vibration mitigation which also relies on vehicle design elements, such as the suspension or engine mounts. Cushions must also minimize the transmission of mechanical shock to the occupant when the vehicle is subject to a mine blast condition. Safe, Inc. Safe developed a cushion design that addressed these necessary elements of performance both pressure and vibration mitigation without loss of shock protection. The design provided adjustability of damping characteristics to tailor the vibration response to meet specific goals for vibration transmissivity based on vehicle-specific environments. It used existing materials combined in a unique way to achieve this tailoring atlow cost. In early work, Safe assessed manufacturing methods and constructed cushion samples of varying configurations. Tests using a pressure mapping system revealed the specific characteristics of the design that led to effective pressure mitigation and demonstrated initial feasibility. The minimum effective thicknesses of materials were determined and the effectiveness of the side and rear bolsters was demonstrated. This work led to specification of final designs for several variations of cushions that were subjected to formal tests. Pressure mapping tests showed one configuration that mitigated pressure through lower peak and average pressure over a range of occupants and thigh angles.

Subject Categories:

  • Mechanics
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems
  • Combat Vehicles

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