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Using An Air Bladder Seat Shock Isolation System To Protect Military Vehicle Occupants From Mine Blasts - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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    Landmines are a great threat to military vehicles and their occupants. Mine blasts can completely destroy vehicles and kill all the occupants or disable the vehicle and leave the occupants severely injured. Injuries sustained during a landmine blast come from fragmentation that enters the vehicle through a hull breach, hot gasses expanding through the vehicle, or shock created from the extreme pressure of the blast (Lafrance, L.P. 1998). Mitigating the high acceleration experienced by the occupants during survivable mine blasts is the focus of the research being addressed in this paper. Method The objective of the project reported in this paper was to prove the feasibility that pneumatic seat technologies that employ light-weight, foam-filled, inflatable air bladder seats and seat backs can be used to protect the crews of lightweight combat vehicles against the detrimental and injurious effects of mine blasts. This protection includes reducing the shock energy experienced by seated vehicle crews during mine blast initiation and at vehicle slam-down to below potentially injurious levels. Figure 1 shows a schematic representation of the proposed lightweight, foam-filled, inflatable mine blast attenuating seat. It will consist of specially designed interconnected seat and seat back lightweight, foam-filed, air bladders that are supported by a rigid frame. [ ] Results Air gun tests and finite element analyses were conducted to determine the effectiveness of a light-weight, foam-filled, inflatable air bladder seat shock isolation system in isolating a vehicle occupant from the injurious effects of a mine blast. Figures 2 through 5 show analytical and experimental results associated with a 65.8 kg mass resting on an inflatable air bladder that is exposed to a shock input.
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