HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Materials & Assembly

'Performance' Car Seat Eliminates Steel

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Interesting design
Beth Stackpole   1/30/2012 6:28:39 AM
NO RATINGS
The weight saving aspect has to have appeal, especially for manufacturers building the super small, lightweight cars we're starting to see so hit the road. Kind of a funky look to the design, however. To me, it looks like a cross between a giant toddler car seat and some of those ergonomic office chairs that are popular today.

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: Interesting design
Jennifer Campbell   1/30/2012 9:43:50 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth: I thought the exact same thing about the toddler car seat. I'd really like to see a photo of it in the car itself to get a better perspective. How stable is it? Seems a car seat that conforms to your body (much like a foam mattress) may not be the best choice in terms of keeping drivers alert.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Lighter, but...
TJ McDermott   1/30/2012 9:58:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Mass has a quality, a feel.  The lighter seats will save fuel, save manufacturing costs.  But will they feel flimsy as you sit down in them?  Will the seat back flex more?  Will the seat require replacement after a crash because the thread inserts pulled out?

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Concept vs. reality
Dave Palmer   1/30/2012 11:13:10 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a good show piece to promote increased use of plastics, but, like TJ, I'm skeptical about the viability of this outside the context of an auto show.  The claim that it weights 20% less than a steel frame seat doesn't necessarily impress me, because I suspect it might be possible to take 20% or more out of the weight of a steel frame seat by using aluminum or by going to stronger grade of steel. (See Chuck's article about the Cadillac ATS, for example).

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lighter, but...
Ann R. Thryft   1/30/2012 11:47:10 AM
NO RATINGS

Thanks for the comments everyone. Many plastics including composites can be created in a wide range of combinations of strength, give and stiffness/flexibility, depending on the app. Materials, and sub-assemblies made from them, that go into cars are researched and tested stringently, especially for crash-resistance and crash performance. And it's the frame, not the cushion or its foam, that adjusts to different sizes and shapes of people. So I doubt if there are any problems associated with either. But like TJ, I've wondered the same thing about how flimsy they may feel. OTOH, that's a relative judgment we make based on what we're used to.


Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lighter, but...
Alexander Wolfe   1/30/2012 1:39:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Those are good points, TJ, though notwithstanding the "flimsy feel" issue, I can see these seats immediately being adopted by makers of plug-in electrics. These seats would look right at home in a Mitsubishi MiEV (or one of those new Fiats sold in the U.S., for that matter. Actually, I don't think they could fit into the Fiat.)

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lighter, but...
Charles Murray   1/30/2012 6:15:06 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, TJ. As we've seen with electronics, automakers will gravitate toward features that appeal to customers, and they will flee in terror from any product deemed unappealing. A seat can have a huge effect on consumers and one of the problems is that we often can't tell if a seat is uncomfortable until we've spent many hours in it. As badly as automakers want to cut weight, you can bet they will test and test and re-teat these seats to make sure that customers don't find them unappealing or uncomfortable.  

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Great Idea
Tim   1/30/2012 7:46:06 PM
NO RATINGS
This is a great idea to use various plastics to produce seats with minimal steel.  The best of both worlds would be to use a certain amount of recycled plastic in the seats.  This would allow the seats to be "green" as well as lightweight.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lighter, but...
Beth Stackpole   1/31/2012 6:36:46 AM
NO RATINGS
I think that a lot of the seat placement will trend with type of vehicle. Like Alex notes, these seats would look right at home in some of the plug-in electrics with boxy, funky designs. And the type of buyer gravitating towards those cars would likely see get the design appeal, albeit slightly quirky, and love the lighter-weight factor. But seeing this type of seat as a replacement for steel seats in musclely SUVs or luxury sedans--not so likely.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Great Idea
Ann R. Thryft   1/31/2012 12:10:24 PM
NO RATINGS

Recycling the plastic in the seat would be great. So far, to my knowledge recycled car seat materials have been limited to the fabric covering, or perhaps the cushion, but not the structural materials. Considering what can be done with recycling materials for bridge structures, as in the Scottish bridge I wrote about,

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=237384

accomplishing that may be next in line.


Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Texas Instruments is rolling out a new microcontroller that could make the design of sensor networks and data logging systems simpler and less costly.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 21 - 25, Design Products With Bluetooth Low Energy
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service