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Bone & Fracture Mechanics

Bone can be considered as a biphasic composite material, mineral as one phase, and collagen and ground substance as the other

The combined substances are stronger for their weight than either substance alone

Cortical bone is stiffer than cancellous bone and more brittle, withstanding less strain before failure than cancellous bone

  • Fracture occurs in cortical bone in vitro at strains of only 2%

  • Fracture occurs in cancellous bone in vitro at strains of > 75%  

Bone is VISCOELASTIC (= time dependent property where the deformation of the material is related to the rate of loading, hysteresis, creep, stress relaxation)

Load deformation curve for bone compared to other materials = the elastic portion of the graph has a slight curve in bone.

Bone stiffness compared to other materials:

Stiffness Curves 



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