Investigation of Compressive Stress on Lumbar Spine due to Whole Body Vibration Exposure in Rotary Tillage Operation
The aim of this study is to investigate the compressive stress on lumbar spine due to whole body vibration (WBV) exposure in real field rotary soil tillage operation. The spinal stress was evaluated in terms of daily equivalent static compression dose (Sed) with respect to various ride conditions (i.e. forward speed, pulling force and tilling depth). Taguchi's L9 orthogonal array was used to form a systematic set of experiments by varying each ride condition over three levels. Signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios were computed to analyse the holistic effect of ride conditions among all the experimental conditions. In addition, the power spectral density (PSD) of the acceleration at the seat pan was measured along the dominant axis for each experiment. A second order regression model was developed to predict the real experimental Sed response. Further, the ride conditions were optimised by using desirability technique with the aim of minimizing Sed response. The magnitude of daily equivalent static compression dose was found between 0.38 and 0.76 MPa which shows a moderate probability of an adverse health effects as per ISO2631-5: 2004. Statistically, forward speed and pulling force are found to significantly affect the Sed response with a contribution of 64.43% and 24.73%, respectively. The PSD indicated that the vibration energy of the acceleration measured on the seat pan depend on the ride conditions. The predicted response of regression model showed 4.56% error in obtaining the actual experimental values. The optimised forward speed, pulling force and tilling depth levels were found to be 0.6 m/s, 2 kN, and 0.10 m, respectively.
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