A Bond Graph Representation of the Sagittal Spine for Estimation of Ride Comfort

Ali Akbari, and Donald Margolis

Biomechanical models are widely used in rehabilitation, posture prediction studies, and for injury risk assessment (Gatton, Pearcy, and Pettet 2011). With ride comfort becoming important to vehicle manufacturers, there’s a demand for a universal, quantitative ride comfort metric (Da Silva 2002). Mechanical inputs from the ride to the passenger body could cause discomfort (ISO 1997) and the dominant discomfort-causing motions lie in the body’s sagittal plane (longitudinal plane dividing a symmetrical body into left and right sections) (Kozawa, Sugimoto, and Suzuki 1986). This paper develops a biomechanical model of the sagittal spine using bond graphs. The model is computationally cost-effective as it employs fewer degrees of freedom than available models (Bazrgari, Shirazi-Adl, and Arjmand 2007; Amiri, Naserkhaki, and Parnianpour 2019) and is capable of estimating internal loads and displacements with sufficient accuracy. The model could be used for spinal load assessments and ride comfort studies in vehicle dynamics.

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