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Blast Resistant Seat Design Offers Improved Protection

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Creation UK Limited
: 10 May, 2010  (New Product)
Creation and Universal Engineering have created a new blast protection seat for the defence market with improved mitigation capabilities for injuries associated with IED blasts
Blast Resistant Seat Design Offers Improved Protection
The latest fully instrumented tests and engineering analysis to be carried out on a radical new British design blast seat have further confirmed its significant capabilities and outstanding performance. The collaborative programme, between specialist protected platform manufacturer, Universal Engineering (Charlestown) and defence vehicle design house, Creation, has demonstrated that the new blast seat can help to mitigate potential body shock, organ and skeletal injuries in the event of a protected platform encountering a roadside bomb or Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast. Importantly, the test results suggest that the benefits may be achieved across a wide range of platforms – at different gross weights, configurations and levels of protection.

The tests were conducted with a blast seat loaded to simulate a 95th percentile male soldier with full body armour, weighing 120kg. Data, including measurement of acceleration at the seat frame mounting points, as well as at the seat base and damper assembly interface, have been monitored and will be used to correlate further modelling, FEA structural analysis and future predictive engineering at escalating blast levels.

Universal Engineering (Charlestown) Projects Director, John Scott says, “During the evolution of our already highly acclaimed Ranger protected vehicle – for which Creation is our automotive design partner – we identified an urgent industry need to take a completely fresh look at seating accommodation. The result is a radical new blast seat, which sets new standards for occupant safety and survivability. It is now production ready and will be marketed by Universal Engineering. We have also created an engineering support capability with Creation, to assist with any design, installation engineering or associated requirements for other platforms and applications”.

Creation Engineering Director, Robin Hall says, “The dynamic behaviour of any protected platform during a blast will vary. Our task is to optimise all the elements in the blast management and mitigation process – including the seat – in order to reduce transmitted body shock and the risk of associated injuries”.

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. Our collaborative blast seat programme with Universal Engineering has 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.

“Creation has 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 to mitigate blast acceleration – a feature which we are calling ‘linear energy absorbing system’ (LEAS). 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.
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