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Equivalent comfort contours for fore-and-aft, lateral, and vertical whole-body vibration in the frequency range 1.0 to 10 Hz

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Standards assume vibration discomfort depends on the frequency and direction of whole-body vibration, with the same weightings for frequency and direction at all magnitudes. This study determined equivalent comfort contours from 1.0 to 10Hz in each of three directions (fore-and-aft, lateral, vertical) at magnitudes in the range 0.1 to 3.5ms−2 r.m.s. Twenty-four subjects sat on a rigid flat seat with and without a beanbag, altering the pressure distribution on the seat but not the transmission of vibration. The rate of growth of vibration discomfort with increasing magnitude of vibration differed between the directions of vibration and varied with the frequency of vibration. The frequency-dependence and direction-dependence of discomfort, therefore, depended on the magnitude of vibration. The beanbag did not affect the frequency-dependence or direction-dependence of vibration discomfort. It is concluded that different weightings for the frequency and direction of vibration are required for low and high magnitude vibration.

Practitioner summary: When evaluating whole-body vibration to predict vibration discomfort, the weightings appropriate to different frequencies and different directions of vibration should depend on the magnitude of vibration. This is overlooked in all current methods of evaluating the severity of whole-body vibration.
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Keywords: Vibration discomfort; direction weightings; frequency weightings; vibration standards; whole-body vibration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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