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Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
    Pages 175  — 186

Abstract - Testing of elastomeric liners used in limb prosthetics: Classification of 15 products by mechanical performance

Joan E. Sanders, PhD; Brian S. Nicholson, BS; Santosh G. Zachariah, PhD; Damon V. Cassisi, BSME; Ari Karchin, MSE; John R. Fergason, CPO

Departments of Bioengineering and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Abstract — The mechanical properties of 15 elastomeric liner products used in limb prosthetics were evaluated under compressive, frictional, shear, and tensile loading conditions. All testing was conducted at load levels comparable to interface stress measurements reported on transtibial amputee subjects. For each test configuration, materials were classified into four groups based on the shapes of their response curves. For the 15 liners tested, there were 10 unique classification sets, indicating a wide range of unique materials. In general, silicone gel liners classified within the same groups thus were quite similar to each other. They were of lower compressive, shear, and tensile stiffness than the silicone elastomer products, consistent with their lightly cross-linked, high-fluid content structures. Silicone elastomer products better spanned the response groups than the gel liners, demonstrating a wide range of compressive, shear, and tensile stiffness values. Against a skin-like material, a urethane liner had the highest coefficient of friction of any liner tested, although coefficients of friction values for most of the materials were higher than interface shear:pressure ratios measured on amputee subjects using Pelite liners. The elastomeric liner material property data and response groupings provided here can potentially be useful to prosthetic fitting by providing quantitative information on similarities and differences among products.
Key words: amputee, interface stress, prosthetic suspension.

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