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1. WO2006102404 - SPINAL PROTECTION SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOTIVE SEAT

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS
What is claimed is:

1. An energy absorption assembly for a seat assembly having a seatback including a first frame and a second frame, the energy absorption assembly comprising:
a housing;
a torsion bar rotatably supported by said housing for movement in a first rotational direction and in a second rotational direction; and
a locking mechanism operatively engaged with said torsion bar to permit rotation of said torsion bar relative to said housing in one of said first rotational direction and said second rotational direction to permit movement of the second frame relative to the first frame and restrict rotation of said torsion bar relative to said housing in the other of said first rotational direction and said second rotational direction to absorb energy.
2. The energy absorption assembly of Claim 1 , further comprising an arm fixedly attached to said torsion bar at a first end and fixedly attached to the second frame of the seatback at a second end.
3. The energy absorption assembly of Claim 1 , wherein restricting rotation of said torsion bar in said other of said first rotational direction and said second rotational direction restricts movement of the second frame relative to the first frame.
4. The energy absorption assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said energy is transmitted to the torsion bar through movement of the second frame relative to the first frame.
5. The energy absorption assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said locking mechanism includes a pawl rotatably supported by said housing and in selective engagement with said torsion bar.
6. The energy absorption assembly of Claim 5, wherein said pawl engages a series of teeth associated with said torsion bar to selectively restrict rotation of said torsion bar relative to said housing.

7. The seat assembly of Claim 6, wherein said teeth are formed integrally with said torsion bar.
8. The seat assembly of Claim 6, wherein said teeth are formed on a gear disposed between said torsion bar and said pawl.
9. The seat assembly of Claim 5, further comprising a biasing member operable to bias said pawl into engagement with said torsion bar to selectively restrict rotation of said torsion bar relative to said housing.
10. The seat assembly of Claim 9, wherein said biasing member is a spring.

11. The seat assembly of Claim 9, further comprising a release handle keyed to said pawl to allow said pawl to be rotated against the bias of said biasing member to reset a position of said torsion bar.
12. The seat assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said housing includes a first aperture rotatably receiving a first end of said torsion bar and a second aperture rotatably receiving a second end of said torsion bar, said first aperture cooperating with said second aperture to prevent said torsion bar from bending.

13. A seat assembly comprising:
a seat bottom;
a seatback rotatably supported by said seat bottom and including a first frame;
a second frame rotatably supported by said first frame and movable relative to said first frame between a first position and a second position; and
an energy absorption assembly disposed between said first frame and said second frame, wherein said second frame articulates relative to said first frame through said energy absorption assembly from said first position to said second position and said energy absorption assembly restricts articulation of said second frame from said second position to said first position.
14. The seat assembly of Claim 13, wherein said energy absorption assembly restricts articulation of said second frame from said second position to said first position with a torsion bar.
15. The seat assembly of Claim 14, further comprising a locking mechanism in engagement with said torsion bar to selectively permit rotation of said torsion bar by said second frame when said second frame moves from said first position to said second position and prevent rotation of said torsion bar by said second frame when said second frame moves from said second position to said first position.
16. The seat assembly of Claim 15, wherein said locking mechanism includes a pawl that selectively engages a series of teeth associated with said torsion bar to prevent rotation of said torsion bar when said second frame is articulated from said second position to said first position.
17. The seat assembly of Claim 16, wherein said teeth are formed integrally with said torsion bar.
18. The seat assembly of Claim 16, wherein said teeth are formed on a gear disposed between said torsion bar and said pawl.
19. The seat assembly of Claim 15, further comprising a biasing member operable to bias said pawl into engagement with said torsion bar to allow said torsion bar to permit movement of said second frame member from said first position to said second position and restrict movement of said second frame member from said second position to said first position.
20. The seat assembly of Claim 19, wherein said biasing member is a spring.

21. The seat assembly of Claim 19, further comprising a release handle keyed to said pawl to allow said pawl to be rotated against the bias of said biasing member to reset a position of said torsion bar.
22. The seat assembly of Claim 13, further comprising a biasing member disposed between said first frame and said second frame and operable to restrict movement of said second frame from said first position to said second position.
23. The seat assembly of Claim 22, wherein said biasing member is a spring.

24. The seat assembly of Claim 13, further comprising a headrest assembly operably supported by said second frame.
25. The seat assembly of Claim 13, further comprising a linkage assembly disposed between said first frame and said second frame.
26. The seat assembly of Claim 25, wherein said linkage assembly is pivotally attached to said first frame and said second frame to control movement of said second frame relative to said first frame.

27. A seat assembly comprising:
a seat bottom;
a seatback rotatably supported by said seat bottom and including a first frame attached to said seat bottom and a second frame rotatable relative to said first frame between a first position and a second position; and
an energy absorption assembly having a torsion bar fixed to said second frame and rotatable relative to said first frame, said torsion bar rotating with said second frame from said first position to said second position and restricted from rotating with said second frame from said second position to said first position to absorb energy associated with such movement.
28. The seat assembly of Claim 27, wherein said torsion bar is deformed when said second frame is rotated from said second position to said first position to absorb said energy.
29. The seat assembly of Claim 27, wherein said energy absorption assembly includes a clutch assembly operable to selectively restrict rotation of said torsion bar relative to said first frame.
30. The seat assembly of Claim 29, wherein said clutch assembly includes a pawl rotatable between a first position restricting rotation of said second frame from said second position to said first position and a second position permitting rotation of said second frame from said second position to said first position.

31. The seat assembly of Claim 30, wherein said pawl is biased into said first position by a biasing member.
32. The seat assembly of Claim 31 , wherein said biasing member is a spring.

33. The seat assembly of Claim 27, further comprising a headrest assembly operably supported by said second frame.
34. The seat assembly of Claim 27, further comprising a linkage assembly disposed between said first frame and said second frame.
35. The seat assembly of Claim 34, wherein said linkage assembly is pivotally attached to said first frame and said second frame to control movement of said second frame relative to said first frame.