Session 8: DHM Using Finite Element Modeling

Developing a full-body finite element model and its preliminary validation for seating comfort

Authors: , , ,


Human body finite element (FE) models can be used for seating comfort assessment by providing biomechanical-related parameters such as internal loads and soft-tissue deformations. However, most of the published models were only validated under a condition far from a real seating situation. Their ability to be repositioned may also be limited. In recent years, an open-source PIPER software package has been developed to help personalize and position human body models for crash simulation. We have morphed the PIPER Child model into an adult FE model. In this paper, we present how the initially morphed adult FE model was adapted for assessing seating comfort and validated for different seating conditions. Experimental data was collected using a reconfigurable experimental seat and pressure mats. Four seat configurations were defined with the seat pan angle (SPA) from 0° to 15° (5° in steps) and seat pan to seat backrest angle (SP2BA) kept to 100°. Simulated results in terms of seat contact area (ContactA), peak pressure (PeakP), mean pressure (MeanP), and pressure profiles showed good agreement with experimental observations. The full-body FE model developed and validated in this work will be used as a reference for further development of scalable and positionable models using the PIPER software framework. The model will be open source to facilitate reuse and further improvements.

Keywords: seating dis/comfort, full-body finite element model, open-source, validation

How to Cite: Liu, S. , Beillas, P. , Ding, L. & Wang, X. (2022) “Developing a full-body finite element model and its preliminary validation for seating comfort”, Proceedings of the 7th International Digital Human Modeling Symposium. 7(1). doi: