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Evaluation of titanium ultralight manual wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA standards

Hsin-yi Liu, BS, et al.

Figure. Four models of titanium ultralight wheelchairs in this study: (a) Invacare Top End, (b) Invacare A4, (c) Quickie Ti, and (d) TiLite ZRA.

We tested a series of commercially available titanium ultralight wheelchairs using American National Standards Institute Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America testing procedures to compare their durability with previously tested aluminum ultralight wheelchairs and lightweight wheelchairs. Three of each of the following titanium wheelchairs were tested: Invacare Top End, Invacare A4, Quickie Ti, and TiLite ZRA. The Quickie Ti wheelchairs had the most forward and rearward center of gravity adjustability. All titanium wheelchairs passed the impact strength tests, but six wheelchairs failed in two of the static strength tests. Two Invacare A4 and one Invacare Top End wheelchairs successfully completed the double-drum and curb-drop tests, but the remaining wheelchairs failed prematurely. No significant difference was found in the number of equivalent cycles or value among the four models. The titanium wheelchairs had less equivalent cycles and value than the previously tested aluminum ultralight wheelchairs. The failure modes in the static strength and fatigue tests were consistent within model and revealed important design issues of each model. Our results suggest that manufacturers need to perform more careful analyses before commercializing new products.

Volume 45 Number 9, 2008
   Pages 1251 — 1268

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