This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
AUTOMOTIVE SEAT DESIGN AND COLLISION PERFORMANCE
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published February 01, 1976 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
Eighty-five laboratory full-scale force-deflection tests were conducted on passenger vehicle seats, foreign and domestic, for purposes of evaluating specific resistance to a collision environment and mechanisms of collision induced seat distortion. These tests evaluated seats that span the past thirty years; additionally, seat design studies were conducted evaluating basic features of automotive seating during the past eighty years.
Data from full-scale collision experiments and from a large number of actual accidents facilitated the establishment of seat design criteria for greatly improved collision performance. Evolution of seat and head support standards in the United States and Europe are presented with evaluation of their relative significance to the requirements of automotive seat collision performance.
The foregoing research provided foundation for modification of a production automobile seat into an integral safety seat, based on a design concept that minimizes bending moments during collision. The modified seat was subjected to the same laboratory test procedure applied to the 85 non-modified production seats and results of its performance is given.
Design concepts are presented that would serve to mitigate undesirable seat distortions during collision and thus improve seat restraint capabilities without compromising the important factors of comfort and cost.
ALTHOUGH SAFETY IS A BASIC CONSIDERATION in all aspects of automotive engineering, it is a fact of life that safety advances are not uniformly accomplished. Some essential aspects of motorist protection have in the past, and probably will in the future, continue to be greatly outstripped by advances made in other areas. In some instances, the design challenge simply exceeds current technology; on other occasions an adequate safety standard and concerted industry interest can correct obvious safety deficiencies. For example, although improved tires resulted only after new materials evolved, a greatly improved motorist restraining system resulted from industry initiated research that culminated in a standard requiring installation of combination cross chest lap belts for all outboard front seat locations.
During the past 20 years, new materials and techniques have improved the comfort and wear resistance of automotive seats while simultaneously reducing their weight and cost; however, significant safety related improvement in seat design during this period has not been accomplished. A summary of findings from prior research (1)* published in 1966 classified a structurally redesigned Integral Seat with built-in 3-point belt restraint as critically important for reduction of motorist injuries; this summary also pointed out the lack of safety-seat research up to that time. Although some research has been conducted since that time, the development of a safety seat still has not been accomplished. In the same study special devices, including the air bag, were rated as only of moderate relative importance.
After 10 years of government regulated safety standards and nearly that many years of intensive air bag development sponsored by both government and industry, the consensus of many automotive safety researchers in Europe (2), (3) and elsewhere is to change the emphasis back to development of active restraint systems and to increase effectiveness by means of mandatory use laws. Air bags, if used, would serve a supplementary function in conjunction with active systems. Progress in safer seat design has been impeded throughout a decade of automotive safety standard making, and many lives have been lost that could have been fully protected with a fraction of the inventive genius and funding lost to air bag development. A basic common sense approach to motorist protection from collision trauma calls for special attention to design of the critically important structure nearest the motorist, his seat.
A vital consideration of seat design is its capacity to protect motorists, to the extent practical, from all types of collision injury exposures. This paper provides basic design data for crashworthy automotive seat systems with integral active restraints, as determined from the authors' collision research and laboratory studies as well as experience gained from investigation of relevant accidents.
|Technical Paper||Safer Seat Designs|
|Technical Paper||Automotive Seat Design Concepts for Occupant Protection|
|Technical Paper||Safety Testing and Evaluation of Polycarbonate Vehicle Glazing Using Full Scale Crash Testing Procedures|
CitationSevery, D., Blaisdell, D., and Kerkhoff, J., "AUTOMOTIVE SEAT DESIGN AND COLLISION PERFORMANCE," SAE Technical Paper 760810, 1976, https://doi.org/10.4271/760810.
- Severy D. M., “Collision Performance of the Motorist's Compartment,” Highway Safety Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, April 1967.
- , “Fifth International Technical Conference on Experimental Safety Vehicles,” sponsored by U. S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.K. Department of the Environment, London, England, 1974.
- Langwieder K., “Car Crash Collision Types and Passenger Injuries in Dependency Upon Car Construction,” Sixteenth Stapp Conference, SAE No. 720968, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 15096, 1972.
- States J. D., et al, “Injury Frequency and Head Restraint Effectiveness in Rear-end Impact Accidents,” Sixteenth Stapp Conference, SAE No. 720967, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 15096, 1972.
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M. and Baird J. D., “Collision Performance L.M. Safety Car,” SAE No. 670458, presented at SAE Mid-year Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, May 1967.
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M., Baird J. D. and Blaisdell D. M., “Safer Seat Design,” SAE No. 690812, Proceedings of Thirteenth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Harvard School of Public Health, December 1969.
- Babbs F. W. and Hilton B. C., “The Packaging of Car Occupants - A British Approach to Seat Design,” Chapter 32, Proceedings of Seventh Stapp Car Crash Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, California, October 1963.
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M., Baird J. D. and Blaisdell D. M., “Active Versus Passive Motorist Restraints,” SAE No. 70024, International Automobile Safety Conference Compendium, Detroit, Michigan, May 1970; Brussels, June 1970.
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M. and Baird J. D., “School Bus Passenger Protection, SAE No. 670040, Automotive Engineering Congress, Detroit, Mchigan, January 1967.
- Siegel A. W., Nahum A. M. and Runge D. E., “Bus Collision Causation and Injury Patterns,” SAE No. 710860, Proceedings of Fifteenth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1971.
- Clark C. and Blechschmidt C., “Human Transportation Fatalities and Protection Against Rear and Side Crash Loads by the Airstop Restraint,” Proceedings of Ninth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1965.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “49 CFR Part 571 (Docket No. 74-13; Notice 1), Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” Federal Register, Vol. 39, No. 54, Washington, D.C., March 1974.
- Severy D. M., Mathewson J. H. and Siegel A. W., “Automobile Head-on Collisions, Series II,” SAE Transactions, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1959.
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M. and Baird J. D., “Backrest and Head Restraint Design for Rear-end Collision Protection,” SAE No. 680079, presented SAE Congress, Detroit, Michigan, January 1968.
- Patrick L. M., et al, “Impact Dynamics of Vehicle Occupants,” Tenth Stapp Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1966.
- Preston F., “A Comparison of Contacts for Unrestrained and Lap Belted Occupants in Automobile Accidents,” Seventeenth Conference American Association for Automotive Medicine, 801 Green Bay Road, Lake Bluff, Illinois 60044.
- Melvin J. W., McElhaney J. H., Roberts V. L. and Portnoy H. D., “Deployable Head Restraints - A Feasibility Study,” SAE No. 710853, Fifteenth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1971.
- McElhaney J. H., Stalnaker R. L., Roberts V. L. and Snyder R. G., “Door Crashworthiness Criteria,” SAE No. 710864, Fifteenth Stapp Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1971
- Severy D. M., Brink H. M. and Baird J. D., “Passenger Protection from Front-end Impacts,” SAE No. 690068, International Automotive Engineering Congress, Detroit, Michigan, January 1969.
- Huelke D. F., Marsh J. C., et al, “Injury Causation in Rollover Accidents,” Proceedings of Seventeenth Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1973.
- Hight P. V., Siegel A. W. and Nahum A. M., “Injury Mechanisms in Rollover Collisions,” SAE No. 720966, Sixteenth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, 1972.