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Technical Reports

Commuter Rail Seat Testing and Analysis of Facing Seats

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 2003
AUTHOR: Caroline VanIngen-Dunn
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-03/06
KEYWORDS: Tests have been conducted on the Bombardier back-to-back commuter rail seat in a facing-seat configuration to evaluate its

Tests have been conducted on the Bombardier back-to-back commuter rail seat in a facing-seat configuration to evaluate its
performance under static and dynamic loading conditions. Quasi-static tests have been conducted to establish the load-deflection
characteristics and failure mechanisms of the seat. Dynamic tests have also been conducted with 50th and 95th percentile male, and
5th percentile female instrumented Hybrid III anthropometric test devices (ATDs) to evaluate the collision performance of the seat
and a table, and to verify analytical simulation models of the seat/occupant. Reasonable agreement between analytical predictions
and dynamic test results was found, given the variability in the stiffness of the seats under different loading conditions.


The quasi-static test results show that the seats are sufficiently strong to withstand the loads predicted from computer simulations,
but the dynamic tests resulted in partial or complete failure of the seat back across the base of the headrest. The injury criteria
measured from the dynamic tests for the head, chest, and femur were within the acceptable human tolerance levels as specified in
standards by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), however, the measured neck loads exceeded NHTSA
neck injury criteria in all but the test with a table between seat pairs.

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