Use of Computational Tools for Structural Analysis and Design Modification of Automobile Seat-Rail Structures under Various Operating Conditions

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title


Conference Name

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference


Automotive seating rail structures are one of the key components in the automotive industry because they carry the entire weight of passenger and they are the holding structure for the seating foams and other assembled important components such as side airbag and seatbelt systems. The entire seating is supported firmly and attached to the bottom bodywork of the vehicle through the linkage assembly called the seat rails. These seat rails are adjustable in their longitudinal motion (front and back) which plays an important role in giving the passengers enough leg room to make them feel comfortable. Therefore, seat rails under the various operating conditions, should be able to withstand the complete weight of the human with the seating structures, other assembled parts of the seating, and functional requirements such as strength, stiffness, and crash safety which are important to avoid or minimize injuries to the occupants.

Keeping the above requirements in view, research has been carried out as a part of graduate thesis work at xxx University. The main theme of the work presented in this is poster covers numerical simulation aspects of the seat rails under different loading and positional operating (front and back) conditions using SolidWorks CAE tool. The various aspects covered in this work include structural (stress and deflection) and vibration (frequency) analyses, and durability (fatigue life) studies. Steel, aluminum, and multi-materials have been used, and a quantitative comparison made to see the benefits of using multi-materials on the performance aspects of the swat rail as stated previously. Based on these studies, a slightly modified seat rail design to increase the fatigue life, decrease the damage percentage, increase the resonant frequencies, and increase the amount of absorbed crush energy is proposed. The final learning outcomes of this research include a better understanding of CAD modeling, and how best to utilize the analysis features of the chosen CAE tool in the design of a seat rail structure.

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© American Society for Engineering Education, 2020