A shape memory alloy energy absorber for backpack design

Lau, Sindy Mei-Ling and Lau, Kin-Tak and Yin, Yan-Sheng and Li, Lan and Wong, May and Chan, Kevin and Chen, William (2010) A shape memory alloy energy absorber for backpack design. Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 25 (4). pp. 281-286. ISSN 1042-6914


Individuals employed in specific recreational,occupational, and military pursuits often carry heavy loads, using variety of pack systems. Recreational hikers and backpackers commonly carry subsistence and comfort items in backpacks. Firefighters, foot soldiers, and other emergency personnel carry extremely heavy backpack loads and walk longer distances than most of their civilian counterparts. It is shown that the physiological strain in terms of heart rates increases considerably when a user carries a load of more than 10.4 kg. Besides, additional stains are induced due to improper ergonomic design of backpacks' structures, which generate unbalanced loads to the user. Since shape memory alloys (SMAs) possess superior form-setting capability and pseudo-elastic properties, which in turn are perfect materials as a damper at the temperature above their austenite finish temperature (Af ), embedding an ergonomically-designed SMA energy absorber based on the users' motion, physiological, and ergonomic information into backpacks' structures is able to alleviate these excess strains for sporty and military applications. In this regard, this article presents the feasibility of using a specially designed SMA energy absorber for imbedding into shoulder belts of backpacks to alleviate the dynamic stress imposed onto shoulder of the backpackers. Our experimental results revealed that a certain amount of energy generated from the weight of the backpack can be absorbed by the absorber, which eventually can reduce the risk of fatigue and pain imposed on the backpackers.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2011 06:49
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2014 22:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy absorption; shape memory alloys; smart materials; backpack load; dynamic stress; elastic properties; ergonomic design; finish temperature; heart rates; heavy loads; physiological strains; unbalanced loads
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1116 Medical Physiology > 111602 Human Biophysics
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091207 Metals and Alloy Materials
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110601 Biomechanics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10426910903426471
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18739

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