Lightweight Automotive Seating System 2011-01-0424
In this paper we present a seat design concept that results in significant (20%-40%) weight savings in automotive seat cushions. This concept replaces the traditional flexible foam and steel frame with an alternate lightweight concept using structural foam technology. Additionally, this design concept uses comfort cutout areas, which allow optimization of seating comfort. To develop and prove this concept, we explain the methodology used, including design concepts, computer simulation, manufacturing processes, assembly considerations, and testing. The materials used are characterized and modeled for use in virtual development, including comfort and crashworthiness. Traditional assembly techniques are reexamined and optimized for time and cost. The overall economics of the concept are shown. Finally, the design is tested to verify the real world performance.