The compliance technique has been used to monitor crack length during fracture and fatigue testing of materials. Difficulties arise when this technique is applied to anisotropic biological materials such as bone. In this tutorial, two different methods of analyzing compliance calibration data are described: the standard ASTM method and a new approach developed by the authors specifically for anisotropic materials. An example is given showing how data from equine cortical bone can be analyzed. In this example, calibration tests were conducted on thirty-six three point bend specimens machined from the middiaphysis of six pairs of equine third metacarpal bones. Cracks were propagated in three orientations with respect to the long axis of the bone: transverse, longitudinal, and radial. Specimen compliance was determined for a crack range of 0.30 to 0.65 times the specimen width from load vs. crack opening displacement data. The results demonstrate that the ASTM method is not applicable to anisotropic biomaterials such as bone. Rather, it is necessary to develop separate compliance calibration equations for each crack propagation orientation investigated.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering



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