Development of a Dynamic Biomechanical Model for Load Carriage: Phase III Part C1: Pressure and Force Distribution Measurement for the Design of Waist Belts in Personal Load Carriage Systems


  1. Hadcock, L.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Queen's Univ, Kingston ONT (CAN) Ergonomics Research Group
In previous studies, two biomechanical models were developed that used pack and person geometry as well as pack mass to determine the reaction forces on the body. One perpetual problem has been determining the pack-person interface forces using Tekscan™ pressure sensors on rounded surfaces such as the shoulder and waist. The goal of this study was to determine design factors that affect force distribution of the backpack waist belt. A human-sized symmetrical lower torso (SLT) was created of wood and covered with Bocklite™. A method of calculating the directional coordinates of applied forces was developed in order to understand the reactions between pack and person. Tekscan™ Sensors were used on the surface to measure the surface pressures between the torso and the waist belt. These were converted to normal force measures based on the mathematical coordinates of each sensel. A strategy was developed for calibration of Tekscan™ on a curved surface. Calibration factors, a factor of effective sensel area and a frictional coefficient for the in situ orientation of each sensor were calculated and used for the calculation of the directional forces. Then, using selected sites on the waist belt, known forces were applied and the resulting directional forces correlated moderately well with the known applied forces (19%). The pressure distributions of three waist belts were compared and the design features were examined to account for differences in distribution. The distributi

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Load carriage;Dynamic Biomechanical Model;Lower Torso Model;Waist Belt Model;Pressure and Force Distribution;Contact pressure Sensors;Strap Force Tension;Tekscan
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-121 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
15 Aug 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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