Finite element analysis of contact pressures between seat cushion and human buttock-thigh tissue

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research

Abstract

Unrelieved pressure on load-bearing muscle tissues of humans can produce pressure ulcers. In a seated upright posture, the highest pressures occur inferior to the ischial tuberosities (ITs). Moreover, the vibration can initiate the development of pressure ulcer. Therefore, the seat cushion is not only used to lower the maximum seating pressure on buttocks but also minimize the transmission of vibration to human body. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of varying vertical vibration frequencies on seat-interface contact pressure during sitting on three different seat cushions by using a finite element modeling approach. A simplified two-dimensional human buttock-thigh model was developed to simulate the mechanical response of the muscle of buttocks and thigh under vertical vibration. Static and vibrational loads with five different frequencies of 0.1, 1, 10, 30 and 50 Hz and the same amplitude of 3 mm were applied to different seat cushions. The result showed that the “SAF 6060” seat cushion with both hyperelastic and viscoelastic behaviors could be effective in reducing the amplitude of varying maximum contact pressure, especially for the frequency of 10-20 Hz. This method could help in design of seat cushions with appropriate material properties and shape so as to reduce vibrations transmitted to human body at a certain frequency range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-726
Number of pages7
JournalEngineering
Volume2
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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