Equal sensation curves for whole-body vibration expressed as a function of driving force

2013-02-28T14:38:54Z (GMT) by Neil Mansfield Setsuo Maeda
Previous studies have shown that the seated human is most sensitive to wholebody vertical vibration at about 5 Hz. Similarly, the body shows an apparent mass resonance at about 5 Hz. Considering these similarities between the biomechanical and subjective responses, it was hypothesised that, at low frequencies, subjective ratings of whole-body vibration might be directly proportional to the driving force. Twelve male subjects participated in a laboratory experiment where subjects sat on a rigid seat mounted on a shaker. The magnitude of a test stimulus was adjusted such that the subjective intensity could be matched to a reference stimulus, using a modified Bruceton test protocol. The sinusoidal reference stimulus was 8 Hz vibration with a magnitude of 0.5 m/s² r.m.s. (or 0.25 m/s² r.m.s. for the 1 Hz test); the sinusoidal test stimuli had frequencies of 1, 2, 4, 16 and 32 Hz. Equal sensation contours in terms of seat acceleration showed data similar to those in the literature. Equal sensation contours in terms of force showed a nominally linear response at 1, 2 and 4 Hz but an increasing sensitivity at higher frequencies. This is in agreement with a model derived from published subjective and objective fitted data.