Development and validation of a distal radius finite element model to simulate impact loading indicative of a forward fall Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The purpose of this work was to develop and validate a finite element model of the distal radius to simulate impact loading. Eight-node hexahedral meshes of the bone and impactor components were created. Three separate impact events were simulated by altering the impact velocity assigned to the model projectile (pre-fracture, crack and fracture). Impact forces and maximum and minimum principal strains were calculated and used in the validation process by comparing with previously collected experimental data. Three measures of mesh quality (Jacobians, aspect ratios and orthogonality) and four validation methods (validation metric, error assessment, fracture comparisons and ensemble averages) assessed the model. The element Jacobians, aspect ratios and orthogonality measures ranged from 0.08 to 12, 1.1 to 26 and -70° to 80°, respectively. The force and strain validation metric ranged from 0.10 to 0.54 and 0.35 to 0.67, respectively. The estimated peak axial force was found to be a maximum of 28.5% greater than the experimental (crack) force, and all forces fell within ±2 standard deviation of the mean experimental fracture forces. The predicted strains were found to differ by a mean of 33% across all impact events, and the model was found to accurately predict the location and severity of bone damage. Overall, the model presented here is a valid representation of the distal radius subjected to impact.

publication date

  • March 2014