The location of the hip-joint (H-Point) of a seat occupant is an important design specification which directly affects the seat comfort. Most car seats are made of polyurethane foam so the location of the H-Point is dependent on the quasi-static behavior of foam. In this study a multi-body seat-occupant model is developed which incorporates a realistic polyurethane foam model. The seat-occupant model consists of two main components: the seat model and the occupant model. In this study the seat is represented by a series of discrete nonlinear viscoelastic elements. The nonlinear elastic behavior of these elements is expressed by a higher order polynomial while their viscoelastic behavior is described by a global hereditary type model with the parameters which are functions of the compression rate. The nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic model parameters were estimated previously using the data obtained from conducting a series of quasi-static compression tests on a car seat foam sample. The occupant behavior is described by a two-dimensional multi-body model with 5 degrees of freedom. A Lagrangian formulation is used to derive the governing equations for the seat occupant model. These differential equations are solved numerically to obtain the H-Point location. These results are then used to calculate the force distribution at the seat and the occupant interfaces. The effects of different system parameters on the system response and the interfacial pressure distribution are also studied.

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