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1. WO2021040716 - AUXETIC ENERGY ABSORBING PASSENGER SAFETY ASSEMBLIES

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

That which is claimed is:

1. An energy absorbing assembly for a passenger seat, the energy absorbing assembly comprising:

an energy absorbing element connectible with a first passenger seat and configured for placement forward of a second passenger seat positioned aft of the first passenger seat, the energy absorbing element comprising a crushable matrix comprising a plurality of cells having an auxetic cell geometry that are crushable in a direction of energy capture.

2. The energy absorbing assembly of claim 1, wherein the energy absorbing element is connected to a seat back of the first passenger seat.

3. The energy absorbing assembly of claim 2, wherein the seat back of the first passenger seat further comprises a seat back cover connected with the seat back and enclosing the energy absorbing element.

4. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of claims 1-3, wherein:

the crushable matrix comprises a three-dimensional grid comprising cavities defined by the auxetic cell geometry that extend in the direction of energy capture; and the auxetic cell geometry is expressed in a two-dimensional plane orthogonal to the direction of energy capture.

5. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the energy absorbing element comprises a sandwich panel comprising first and second surfaces separated by the crushable matrix.

6. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the auxetic cell geometry of the plurality of cells comprises a repeating array of reentrant bowtie-shaped cells.

7. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the energy absorbing element comprises an auxetic foam.

8. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the energy absorbing element comprises a thermoplastic polymer or polymer composite.

9. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the energy absorbing element comprises a first region comprising a first cell geometry and having a first stiffness, and a second region comprising a second cell geometry and having a second stiffness that is different than the first stiffness, the second region positioned laterally with respect to the first region and with reference to the direction of energy capture.

10. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the energy absorbing element comprises a first stage comprising a first cell geometry and having a first stiffness, and a second stage comprising a second cell geometry and having a second stiffness that is different than the first stiffness, the second stage aligned longitudinally with the first stage with reference to the direction of energy capture.

11. The energy absorbing assembly of claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the first cell geometry is the auxetic cell geometry, and the second cell geometry is a non-auxetic cell geometry.

12. The energy absorbing assembly of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the plurality of cells defined by the auxetic cell geometry comprise a cell size ranging from 1-10 mm, preferably 5-10 mm.

13. A passenger seat, comprising:

a frame;

a seat back connected with the frame; and

an energy absorbing element connected with and positioned aft of the seat back, the energy absorbing element comprising a crushable matrix comprising a plurality of cells having an auxetic cell geometry that are crushable in a direction of energy capture.

14. The passenger seat of claim 13, wherein the plurality of cells comprises a repeating array of cavities that extend in the direction of energy capture.

15. The passenger seat of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the energy absorbing element is connected with the seat back in a position aligned with a projected impact region corresponding to a location at which a passenger located behind the passenger seat may contact the seat back during a severe impact event.

16. The passenger seat of any one of the preceding claims, wherein:

the seat back comprises a multimedia device; and

the energy absorbing element is connected with the seat back adjacent to the multimedia device.

17. The passenger seat of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a plurality of energy absorbing elements, including the energy absorbing element, connected with the seat back.

18. The passenger seat of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a seat back cover connected with the seat back and enclosing the energy absorbing element.

19. A method of installing an energy absorbing assembly in a passenger seat, the method comprising:

connecting an energy absorbing element with a seat back of the passenger seat at a position aligned with a projected impact region, the energy absorbing element comprising a crushable matrix comprising a plurality of cells having an auxetic geometry, and the projected impact region comprising a portion of the seat back at which a passenger located behind the passenger would be expected to contact the seat back during a severe deceleration event.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising:

enclosing the energy absorbing element by mounting a seat back cover to the seat back after connecting the energy absorbing element to the seat back.