Automotive Seating Comfort; Defining ComfortProperties in Polyurethane Foam 1999-01-0587
The Woodbridge Group continues to explore the role of the PUF cushion in the measured comfort of the entire seating system. In this investigation our expanded comfort analysis of 60 PUF cushions, currently in the market, is illustrated through statistical analysis and comparisons drawn between PUF front seat driver cushions designed in North America, Europe, and Japan. All of the cushions included in this study were obtained from production moulds using production chemistries.
A principal component analysis was conducted on sixteen different physical properties. In this manner we sought to reveal relationships not previously understood and subsequently allow for simpler interpretation. Using multivariate statistical methods all cushions, regardless of cushion type or origin, can be simultaneously analyzed. This analysis has revealed a number of critical foam characteristics. We have also identified those physical property tests that are highly correlated with each foam characteristic. Additionally, the analysis also facilitated the identification of three distinct cushion design philosophies as evidenced by cushions designed in North America, Europe, and Japan. Subsequently, differences in the PUF cushion design philosophies are illustrated.
The future directions based on this multivariate analysis are discussed. We show a scheme that illustrates the effective use of chemistry that seeks to manipulate those specific physical property tests that impacts those foam characteristics, which we hypothesize, alter comfort performance.