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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Vol. 40 No. 2, March/April 2003
Pages 131 — 148


Failure analysis of composite femoral components for hip arthroplasty
Chaodi Li, PhD; Christopher Granger, MS; H. Del Schutte Jr., MD; Sherrill B. Biggers Jr., PhD;
John M. Kennedy, PhD; Robert A. Latour Jr., PhD
Department of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC;
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Abstract — In this research, a numerical method was developed for predicting the progressive failure of thick laminated composite femoral components. A three-dimensional (3-D) global/3-D local technique was developed to capture the overall structural response of this system, while also enabling the 3-D ply-level stress state to be determined efficiently and accurately. Different failure criteria and material degradation models were incorporated in the method, giving it the flexibility to model a wide range of materials and structures. Numerical modeling was also conducted to design experimental test methods to simulate in vivo loading conditions for component fatigue tests. Parametric studies were then conducted with the numerical model of the experimental system. Next, we compared the results to the damage behavior of the experimentally determined laminated composite femoral component to assess which parameter set most accurately predicted the actual damage development behavior. We then applied the best-fitting parameter set to analyze simulated in situ composite femoral components. Results showed that this methodology efficiently and accurately predicted damage initiation and propagation. This research demonstrates how analytical and numerical models may be used before conducting extensive experimental tests as initial tools to evaluate components for the design of composite hip implants that possess a high level of damage resistance and damage tolerance.
Key words: composite, failure, finite element, hip replacement, prosthesis.

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