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New seat design withstands IED blast shock

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Creation UK Limited
: 05 January, 2010  (New Product)
Blast seat designed by Creation UK features shock absorbency engineered to provide blast protection in military vehicles
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.
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