Browse Publications Technical Papers 2005-22-0010
2005-11-09

Material Properties of Human Rib Cortical Bone from Dynamic Tension Coupon Testing 2005-22-0010

The purpose of this study was to develop material properties of human rib cortical bone using dynamic tension coupon testing. This study presents 117 human rib cortical bone coupon tests from six cadavers, three male and three female, ranging in age from 18 to 67 years old. The rib sections were taken from the anterior, lateral, and posterior regions on ribs 1 through 12 of each cadaver's rib cage. The cortical bone was isolated from each rib section with a low speed diamond saw, and milled into dog bone shaped tension coupons using a small computer numerical control machine. A high-rate servo-hydraulic Material Testing System equipped with a custom slack adaptor, to provide constant strain rates, was used to apply tension loads to failure at an average rate of 0.5 strains/sec. The elastic modulus, yield stress, yield strain, ultimate stress, ultimate strain, and strain energy density were determined from the resulting stress versus strain curves. The overall average of all cadaver data gives an elastic modulus of 13.9 GPa, a yield stress of 93.9 MPa, a yield strain of 0.88 %, an ultimate stress of 124.2 MPa, an ultimate strain of 2.7 %, and a strain energy density of 250.1 MPa-microstrain. For all cadavers, the plastic region of the stress versus strain curves was substantial and contributed approximately 60 % to the strain energy and over 80 % in the tests with the 18 year old cadaver. The rib cortical bone becomes more brittle with increasing age, shown by an increase in the modulus (p < 0.01) and a decrease in peak strain (p < 0.01). In contrast to previous three-bending tests on whole rib and rib cortical bone coupons, there were no significant differences in material properties with respect to rib region or rib level. When these results are considered in conjunction with the previous three-point bending tests, there is regional variation in the structural response of the human rib cage, but this variation appears to be primarily a result of changes in the local geometry of each rib while the material properties remain nearly constant within an individual.

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