Improved Vibration Isolating Seat Suspension Designs Based on Position-Dependent Nonlinear Stiffness and Damping Characteristics

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Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

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The design of seat suspensions having linear stiffness and damping characteristics involves a tradeoff between three performance measures. These measures are: (1) suspension range of motion, (2) improved average vibration isolation (weighted average across a wide exposure spectrum), and (3) improved isolation at the frequency of peak transmissibility. To overcome the limitations associated with this tradeoff, nonlinear mechanical properties are used here in the design of a seat suspension. From the infinite number of possible nonlinear mechanical characteristics, several possibilities that showed promise in previous studies were selected. The selected nonlinear force-deflection relationship (stiffness) of the seat is described by a combination of cubic and linear terms. The selected damping behavior of the seat is described by a combination of a linear term and a position-dependent term. A lumped parameter model (linear-human/nonlinear-seat) of the human/seat-suspension coupled system and a robust direct search routine are used to obtain pseudo-optimal values of the seat design parameters (mass, stiffness, and damping) via simulation in the time domain. Results indicate that the optimal nonlinear seat suspension is significantly better than the optimal linear seat suspension in overall vibration isolation characteristics.


Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 125, No. 3 (September 2003): 330-338. DOI.