Analysis of an Anti-vibration Glove for Vibration Suppression of a Steering Wheel
Alabi, Oreoluwa Adekolade
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Exposure to severe levels of hand-arm vibration can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome. Towards curbing the development of hand-arm vibration syndrome, studies have shown that anti-vibration gloves effectively reduce the transmission of unwanted vibration from vibrating equipment to the human hand. However, most of these studies have focused on the study of anti-vibration gloves for power tools such as chipping hammers, and not much work has been done to design anti-vibration gloves for steering wheels. Also, as most of these studies are based on experimental or modeling techniques, the level of effectiveness and optimum glove properties for better performance remains unclear. To fill this gap, the dynamics of the hand-arm system, with and without gloves, coupled to a steering wheel is studied analytically in this work. A lumped parameter model of the hand-arm system with hand-tool interaction is modeled as a linear spring-damper system. The model is validated by comparing transmissibility obtained numerically to transmissibility obtained from experiments. The resulting governing equations of motion are solved analytically using the method of undetermined coefficients. Parametric analysis is performed on the biomechanical model of the hand-arm system with and without a glove to identify key design parameters. It is observed that the effect of glove parameters on its performance varies based on the frequency range. This observation further motivates us to optimize the glove parameters, using multi-objective optimization, to minimize the overall transmissibility in different frequency ranges.
General Audience Abstract
When the human hand is exposed for a long time to vibrations generated from hand-held tools, such as Jack-hammers, rock breakers and chipping hammers, humans are in danger of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome. Hand-arm vibration syndrome is dangerous as severe episodes of this syndrome could lead to gangrene and eventually amputation of the fingers. To prevent the occurrence of hand-arm vibration syndrome, some researchers have explored the effectiveness of anti-vibration gloves through experiments. However, no work has been performed to identify the optimal glove design that best optimizes an anti-vibration glove for steering wheel applications. To address this issue, this thesis studied a mathematical model of the human-hand, wearing an anti-vibration glove attached to a steering wheel system. To ensure this model could successfully replicate real life applications, measurements computed with the model were compared with measurements on the human-hand obtained from experiments. After successfully ensuring that the model closely replicated real-life measurements, the model was used to design an Anti-vibration glove with optimal values to protect the hand from hand-arm vibration syndrome.
- Masters Theses