A Novel Videography Method for Generating Crack-Extension Resistance Curves in Small Bone Samples

Katsamenis, Orestis L.; Jenkins, Thomas; Quinci, Federico; Michopoulou, Sofia; Sinclair, Ian; Thurner, Philipp J.
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Assessment of bone quality is an emerging solution for quantifying the effects of bone pathology or treatment. Perhaps one of the most important parameters characterising bone quality is the toughness behaviour of bone. Particularly, fracture toughness, is becoming a popular means for evaluating bone quality. The method is moving from a single value approach that models bone as a linear-elastic material (using the stress intensity factor, K) towards full crack extension resistance curves (R-curves) using a non-linear model (the strain energy release rate in J-R curves). However, for explanted human bone or small animal bones, there are difficulties in measuring crack-extension resistance curves due to size constraints at the millimetre and sub-millimetre scale. This research proposes a novel “whitening front tracking” method that uses videography to generate full fracture resistance curves in small bone samples where crack propagation cannot typically be observed. Here we present this method on sharp edge notched samples (<1 mm×1 mm×Length) prepared from four human femora tested in three-point bending. Each sample was loaded in a mechanical tester with the crack propagation recorded using videography and analysed using an algorithm to track the whitening (damage) zone. Using the “whitening front tracking” method, full R-curves and J-R curves could be generated for these samples. The curves for this antiplane longitudinal orientation were similar to those found in the literature, being between the published longitudinal and transverse orientations. The proposed technique shows the ability to generate full “crack” extension resistance curves by tracking the whitening front propagation to overcome the small size limitations and the single value approach.


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