Structural Analysis and Design Modification of Seat Rail Structures in Various Operating Conditions

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

SAE Technical Papers

Conference Name

WCX SAE World Congress Experience


This paper is based on, and in continuation of the work previously published in ASEE NCS Conference held in Grand Rapids, MI [1]. Automotive seating rail structures are one of the key components in the automotive industry because they carry the entire weight of passenger and they hold the structure for seating foams and other assembled key 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. Seat rails are adjustable in their longitudinal motion 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 weight of the passenger along with the other assembled parts as mentioned above. Also, functional requirements such as crash safety is very important to avoid or to minimize injuries to the occupants. Keeping the above requirements in view, the goal of this paper is to perform simulation studies on the seat rails under different operating conditions using CAE tool for structural, vibration (dynamic), durability, and crash analyses. Different grades of steel, aluminum, and multi-materials have been used in the study. Based on these studies, a slightly modified seat rail structure design is proposed to increase the fatigue life, decrease the damage percentage, increase the resonant frequencies, and to increase the amount of absorbed crush energy. The results of crash analysis are not presented in this paper.

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