Seat Back Strength Testing


SAFE Laboratories has the capability to test and evaluate seat structures using a variety of loading conditions. Test methods available include those outlined by governmental agencies, those developed by General Motors, as well as dynamic sled type crash tests.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 207:  FMVSS 207 describes the current minimum seat back strength requirements and test procedures of the federal government. The FMVSS 207 test is a simple quasi-static test carried out by applying a concentrated load at the upper seat back crossmember of the detrimmed seat back.  A video of the FMVSS 207 test can be seen on the right.

The Quasistatic Seat Test (QST):  The QST test is a highly effective test method for evaluating the ability of a seat to retain occupants in a rear impact crash.  It was developed by General Motors in the early 90s and is designed to simulate the dynamic occupant interaction seen in a Hyge sled test but using a quasi-static fixture.  Unlike the FMVSS 207 test in which the loading device is affixed to a point on the seatback, a test dummy is used to apply the force to the subject seat, loaded by a hydraulic ram coupled to its lumbar spine.  As the seat deforms, the ATD is free to slide up the seatback or off the side of the seat if the seat fails asymmetrically.   Multiple data channels provide continuous information about seatback angle, forces and moments.  The QST can be used to develop seat designs and establish test parameters for dynamic sled tests.  A large database of previously conducted tests can be used as a basis of comparison. A video of the QST test can be seen on the right.

Full Scale Dynamic Sled Tests:  SAFE Laboratories also has the ability to conduct dynamic sled testing to evaluate seatback strength.  These tests can evaluate anything from a single seat to pairs of seats to a full vehicle body with all seats installed.  Speeds of up to 35 mph Delta V can be achieved with virtually any deceleration pulse.  Motion analysis and onboard instrumentation can be used to document the seat performance and occupant kinematics.  The most powerful test setup is with a pair of seats, one “good” and one “bad” tested side-by-side on the sled under identical test conditions.  Sample videos of the Full Scale Dynamic Sled Test can be seen on the right.


FMVSS 207 Test

QST Test

Sled Test

Sled Test With Cab

Sled Test With Cab