Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2753
2003-10-27

A Novel Design Concept of a Lateral Sliding Bucket Seat on Roller Mechanisms 2003-01-2753

A novel lateral sliding vehicle bucket seat was developed to address consumer needs for improved facile access to third row seats in minivans and sport utility vehicles. The concept provides for a second row bucket seat to slide laterally across a vehicle floor by roller mechanisms that roll across steel rails that transverse the vehicle floor.
The system consists of two T-section type steel rails mounted parallel to each other at a distance equal to the seat riser support attachment features. The seat risers contain a roller mechanism that enables contact with the cylindrical portion of the steel rails. Each steel rail contains rectangular openings spaced appropriately to allow the seat latching mechanisms to engage securely. The seat riser supports at the rear include a releasable clamping mechanism hook that engages and disengages into the rectangular openings of the steel rails. The seat riser supports at the front include a separate releasable clamping mechanism hook that engages and disengages to the other steel rail at intervals equal to the rearward steel rail.
The bucket seat can be slid laterally from an outboard seating position to a center seating position with an occupant seated provided the front and rear release mechanisms are simultaneously activated. The four-seat riser clamping mechanism hooks re-engage to alternate positioned rectangular openings at the center seating position in the steel rails when the vehicle occupant releases the release mechanisms. A single release lever activates both forward and rearward-clamping mechanism hooks.
The material choice for the seat roller mechanisms was determined by computer- simulated analysis. Acrylic, nylon, rubber, aluminum and steel were evaluated for performance under two different input load conditions. The reaction force on fixed supports, total deformation, maximum principal stress, and maximum principal strain results were analyzed. Steel as the material choice exhibited the least amount of deformation and maximum principal stress and strain given vertical and moment input loads. Rubber showed the most deformation and maximum principal strain. Aluminum was similar to steel in terms of performance. Acrylic and nylon showed slightly larger deformations and stresses, but the maximum principal strain was much greater than a roller made of steel. Steel also had a ‘safety factor’ greater than zero for all input loads, whereas, aluminum, nylon, acrylic, and rubber all showed a zero ‘safety factor’. This indicates that all materials except steel would probably fail under vertical and moment loads as small as 50 N.

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