Seat topology optimisation project

We have been members of the Polo Innvovazione Automotive (Automative Innovation Pole) for five years now, specifically to have the opportunity to get to know other concerns, to be able to work together on the development of research/innovation projects and thereby to create a network of professionals which over time has become a benchmark for the national and international sector.

After 8 months, the Polo Innovazione Automotive technological transfer project involving our company as one of the key players of the project for the optimisation and lightening of seats has finished.

“The project can be considered completed: the characteristics specified will have to be checked with prototypes and fine-tuned with possible amendments during subsequent experimental tests, but the expectations were fully satisfied” - explains Giulia Girini, co-ordinator of the engineering department collaborators and of the heads of the various company departments.

“Seat optimisation” is the result of an inspection and optimisation activity, via CAE tools, carried out on a complete seat (seat back insert, seat cushion, frame, base) with the aim of reducing the overall weight of the whole seat, while retaining its tear-resistance characteristics as requested by Regulation R14, category M3 (Regulation No. 14) and its strength in accordance with regulation R80 (Regulation R80).

Despite the limited time frame, the project achieved concrete and immediate results: the study envisaged a main phase entailing simulations, relating to regulation R14, model tuning (based on experimental tests) and a cycle of simulations with the aim of analysing the behaviour of the seat according to changing parameters and configurations, in order to provide instructions on possible modifications to the structure. Among the configurations analysed, one specific configuration was picked, and a simulation of the R80 test was performed on its seat.

Starting with a CAD model of a seat for overall dimensions analysis, the geometry was cleaned and suitably amended according to our instructions.

Using the amended CAD model, a basic FEM model was generated, on which the model tuning activity was carried out.
To achieve the project's result, in other words, the reduction of the weight of the structure in compliance with the regulations in force, modifications were made to the metal structure as follows:
- geometrical;
- materials;
- thickness levels;
- distribution of welding.

Below is the project technical data sheet.

The next goal: to implement a new project with rolling tests on the tubes currently used in the structure of our seats.


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