Computational modeling and performance evaluation of a DAX-foam aircraft seat cushion utilizing high loading rate dynamic characteristics

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Bhonge, Prasannakumar S.
Thorbole, Chandrashekhar K.
Lankarani, Hamid M.

Bhonge, Prasannakumar S.; Thorbole, Chandrashekhar K.; Lankarani, Hamid M. 2012. Computational modeling and performance evaluation of a DAX-foam aircraft seat cushion utilizing high loading rate dynamic characteristics. ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition Volume 11: New Developments in Simulation Methods and Software for Engineering Applications; Safety Engineering, Risk Analysis and Reliability Methods; Transportation Systems Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010, Paper No. IMECE2010-40579:pp.667-674:8 pages


The aircraft seat dynamic performance standards as per CFR 14 FAR Part 23, and 25 requires the seat to demonstrate crashworthy performance as evaluated using two tests namely Test-I and Test-II conditions. Test-I dynamic test includes a combined vertical and longitudinal dynamic load to demonstrate the compliance of lumbar load requirement for a Hybrid II or an FAA Hybrid III Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD). The purpose of this test is to evaluate the means by which the lumbar spine of the occupant in an impact landing can be reduced. This test requirement is mandatory with every change in the seat design or the cushion geometry. Experimental full-scale crash testing is expensive and time-consuming event when required to demonstrate the compliance issue. A validated computational technique in contrast provides an opportunity for the cost effective and fast certification process. This study mainly focuses on the characteristics of DAX foams, typically used as aircraft seat cushions, as obtained both at quasi-static loading rate and at high loading rate. Nonlinear finite element models of the DAX foam are developed based on the experimental test data from laboratory test results conducted at different loading rates. These cushion models are validated against sled test results to demonstrate the validity of the finite element models. The results are compared for these computational sled test simulations with each seat cushion as obtained using quasi-static and high-loading rate characteristics. The result demonstrates a better correlation of the simulation data with the full scale crash test data for the DAX foam when high loading rate data is utilized instead of quasi-static data in the dynamic finite element models. These models can be utilized in the initial design of the aircraft seats, and thus reducing the cost and time of a full-scale sled test program.

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