Mining Publication: Comparison of Passive Seat Suspension with Different Configuration of Seat Pads and Active Seat Suspension
Exposure to vibration induced in and around underground mine’s exploration is a major concern to vehicles operators. Most of these drivers over time develop serious spinal musculoskeletal and discs problems causing low back injuries. The first purpose of this paper is to analyze the performance and dynamic response of driver/operator when subjected to different levels of vibration due to rough road conditions depicted in a mine field. The second purpose of the paper is to quantify the energy transmission in the presence of seat padding with special characteristics and active suspension. Using experimental testing data collected at NIOSH/PRL (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/ Pittsburgh Research Laboratory) along with model simulation algorithms developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago we investigated how acceleration transfer functions as well as absorbed power affects the different parts of the body. To this end, we used a previously validated human model which includes the head, torso segments and legs. The connective forces between body segments were modeled through modal analysis techniques from previous experimental data at the UIC Vehicle Technology Laboratory. The absorbed power and energy transmitted to the body are used as an index measure to assess the viability of the different seat padding’s and active seat suspension control strategies.