05 Jan 10. A radical new concept in blast seat design has undergone initial tests – and has performed well ahead of expectations. The new seat has been developed by specialist defence vehicle designers, Creation UK, to provide the best possible level of shock absorbency in military vehicles which encounter blast damage from roadside bombs and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The new seat will be marketed by Universal Engineering – for whom Creation designed the acclaimed Ranger protected vehicle.
Creation UK Managing Director, Bill Davis says, “A huge amount of attention has been rightly devoted to the evolution of protected occupant cells for armoured vehicles. We have now taken that a stage further by reassessing the actual seating arrangement within the vehicle. We have been able to further mitigate the risk of serious injury, particularly to the spine, by looking at how blast shock is transferred to the body through the seat structure.
“We have in-depth experience of specialist orthopaedic and osteopathic seat design through one of our businesses, Iliac Design. This new seat bucket has hydraulically damped and upwardly limited vertical free movement on its mounting frame. The frame – not the seat bucket itself – is mounted to the side of the vehicle and there is no fastening or rigid fixture between the floor of the vehicle and the underside of the seat. In the event of a blast therefore, the seat will rise in a controlled ascent, mitigating any severe shock being transmitted to the spine through the seat structure”, says Bill Davis.
At the heart of the design are two captive vertical tubes to which the seat bucket is attached by linear bearings. Two high performance telescopic hydraulic dampers with concentric coil springs and a progressive elastomer buffer are installed between the mounting frame and the lower section of the seat bucket. The seat bucket itself is fabricated in two parts, to allow a soldier in full battle dress to sit firmly with a 4-point Securon harness for restraint. Tests with a fully instrumented dummy and a 95 percentile weighted mannequin have demonstrated that body travel is strictly controlled and progressive – significantly reducing skeletal shock and potential organ damage.
Creation is one of the UK’s leading independent vehicle design, development, engineering services and programme management specialists. Its current six clearly defined lines of business include its core automotive and vehicle design engineering activities; land systems and defence applications; component, prototype and low volume manufacture; materials handling and informatics.
The Creation Team brings together a group of highly experienced people, with complementary and cross-disciplined engineering and technological backgrounds – and proven track records at the leading edge of the fields in which they specialise. These complementary skills – and the company’s advanced engineering resources, combine to position Creation right at the forefront of its sector.
Creation serves a wide range of industries – and it has a particular niche specialisation in defence and armoured vehicle design. In addition to its own original designs, it has successfully delivered a number of major concept-up programmes for some of the world’s leading OE manufacturers.