Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 5, 2010
   Pages 441 — 456

Abstract —  Evaluation of aluminum ultralight rigid wheelchairs versus other ultralight wheelchairs using ANSI/RESNA standards

Hsin-yi Liu, MS;1 Jonathan Pearlman, PhD;1 Rosemarie Cooper, MPT;1-2 Eun-kyoung Hong, MS;1 Hongwu Wang, MS;1 Benjamin Salatin, BS;1 Rory A. Cooper, PhD1,3-4*

1Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA; and Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 2Center for Assistive Technology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA; 3Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract ??? Previous studies found that select titanium ultralight rigid wheelchairs (TURWs) had fewer equivalent cycles and less value than select aluminum ultralight folding wheelchairs (AUFWs). The causes of premature failure of TURWs were not clear because the TURWs had different frame material and design than the AUFWs. We tested 12 aluminum ultralight rigid wheelchairs (AURWs) with similar frame designs and dimensions as the TURWs using the American National Standards Institute/Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and International Organization for Standardization wheelchair standards and hypothesized that the AURWs would be more durable than the TURWs. Across wheelchair models, no significant differences were found in the test results between the AURWs and TURWs, except in their overall length. Tire pressure, tube-wall thickness, and tube manufacturing were proposed to be the factors affecting wheelchair durability through comparison of the failure modes, frames, and components. The frame material did not directly affect the performance of AURWs and TURWs, but proper wheelchair manufacture and design based on mechanical properties are important.

Key words: aluminum wheelchair, ANSI/RESNA, durability, fatigue life, fatigue mode, manual wheelchair, titanium wheelchair, ultralight wheelchair, wheelchair, wheelchair standards.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:14 PM

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