Title page for ETD etd-07082003-130048

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ofori-Boateng, Akua Boabema
Author's Email Address akua@vt.edu
URN etd-07082003-130048
Title A Study of the Effect of Varying Air-Inflated Seat Cushion Parameters on Seating Comfort
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ahmadian, Mehdi Committee Chair
Ghorashi, Mehrdaad Committee Member
Leo, Donald J. Committee Member
  • Seat Cushion
  • Truck Seat
  • Seating Comfort
  • Air-Inflated Seat Cushion
  • Cushion
  • Air-Inflated
  • Simulation
  • Ofori-Boateng
  • Modeling
Date of Defense 2003-06-19
Availability unrestricted
For many years seat cushions have been investigated for their ability to reduce seating discomfort. The objective of this thesis is to examine air-inflated seat cushions to determine how seating comfort (determined by pressure change rate) is affected by changing various parameters of the cushion. To this end, a mathematical model was built using MatLab and SimuLINK to accurately represent the cushion and its response. Different aspects of the cushion, such as seating area, outlet size, cell height, and material elasticity are varied to determine how they each affect seating comfort. For each parameter three different weights are tested to see how the trends observed per parameter are affected by a person's weight.

The results of this study indicate that by changing the base radius, the cell height, the outlet diameter, and the material elasticity of each cell, it is possible to improve seating comfort, as determined by pressure change rate. The study confirms that comfort levels increase with increasing seated area. The study also shows that although increasing the weight of a person decreases the comfort performance of the cushion, not all the trends observed when the cushion parameters are varied remain the same as the person's weight is changed. The trends observed when the cell height and outlet diameter are varied are not affected by the subject weight but all the other trends changed as the subject weight was changed.

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