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Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology

Vol. 13, No. 3 (2013) 1350032 (20 pages)


c World Scientic Publishing Company

DOI: 10.1142/S0219519413500322

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INFLUENCE OF GEOMETRY AND DESIGN


PARAMETERS ON FLEXURAL BEHAVIOR
OF DYNAMIC COMPRESSION PLATES
(DCP): EXPERIMENT AND FINITE
ELEMENT ANALYSIS

SADREDDIN BAHARNEZHAD*
Department of Materials Engineering
Islamic Azad University South Tehran
Tehran 11369, Iran
baharnezhad.edu@engineer.com
HASSAN FARHANGI
School of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
University of Tehran
Tehran 11369, Iran
ALI AMMARI ALLAHYARI
School of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
University of Tehran, Tehran 11369, Iran

Received 18 August 2012


Revised 7 November 2012
Accepted 11 November 2012
Published 24 December 2012
This work aimed to study the eect of various geometric parameters on bending behavior in
orthopedic dynamic compression plates (DCPs) in order to achieve suitable criteria in an
optimum design of these plates. Modeling, simulation, and analysis were performed through
the nite element software of ABAQUS. In order to verify the model, four-point bending tests
on several actual plates were conducted. In addition, the classical beam theory was applied for
the theoretical estimation of the maximum tensile stress in the outer ber and the longitudinal
stresses of plates. Finite element analysis (FEA) results indicated relatively good conformity
with the empirical results and those of beam theory. Based on the results, the distance of the
holes from the plate edge was observed to be the most eective parameters on exural behavior. It was also found that the exural properties are maximized at a unique distance between
the outside edge of the hole and the edge of the plate.
Keywords: Dynamic compression plate (DCP); nite element analysis (FEA); stress; exural
behavior; beam theory.

*Corresponding

author.
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1. Introduction
Recently, bone fracture xations have been widely used to stabilize and treat the
fractured bone. One of the more common devices is the dynamic compression plate
(DCP) which is used for the treatment of simple bone fractures. These plates are
attached to the bone using a series of screws. The interaction between the plate and
screws introduces a critical compressive force which accelerates healing. Generally,
the approval and verication of the plates to be implanted in the body should be based
on the provision of adequate strength and stiness.1 One of the pioneers who performed extensive tests on the stiness and strength of bone fracture xations was
Lindahl.24 Laurence et al.,5 also studied extensively several fracture plates and
examined the eects of exural and torsion loads on them. Since the existence of the
inherent exural loads on the body structure can severely aect the plates function,
and because surgeons usually bend and deform the plates before implanting them in
the desired location to achieve a good connection between the plate and bone, this
type of loading gains more importance. In fact, determining the strength and stiness
of the plates as well as the factors aecting them, helps engineers design more ecient
plates. Recent researches on dierent designs of orthopedic plates have been mainly
followed by two approaches including rst, the production of new materials and
second, the application of new analytical methods for an optimal design. For instance,
Koo et al.,6 designed a nite element model to simulate the stiness of xation in case
of a Dynax plate in arbitrary congurations and under pressure with twisting threeand four-point bending, and concluded that a proper modeling of nite element
analysis (FEA) will provide useful information about the strength of some of the
congurations to stabilize the position of broken bone sand treat the fracture. Saidpour also used FEA to investigate and compare the mechanical performances of
various six-hole composites and steel plates under bending and torsion loading conditions. He also determined the regions with the greatest stress concentrations and
optimized the design of the plate by reducing the width around the two central holes.7
In the present study, the performance of the DCPs in four-point bending test
conditions were investigated by using FEA, beam theory, and experimental
methods in order to determine the eective geometry and design parameters on
their exural behavior.

2. Simulating the Four-Point Bending Test in ABAQUS Software


Analytical methods used in describing the details of the precise shaping of metals,
their behavior, and the applied boundary conditions are imperfect and their
relative data are unrepeatable. In other words, presenting an accurate solution for
the problem of shaping metals is very dicult and sometimes impossible since a
precise solution must satisfy all the equations of both equilibrium and compatibility.
Although the theory of plasticity, the slip line eld theory, the upper bound
method, the slab method, and other similar methods to review the processes for
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP

shaping metals yield good results, their disadvantages include the limited use in the
case of specic forms in addition to the fact that the particular equivalents must be
written for each model and the results of the same specic form should be obtained.
Numerical methods are used for the analysis of complex processes of shaping
metals. Hence, the nite element method is one of the most widely used numerical
methods. Currently, FEA as an invaluable implant designing tool allows researchers
to study the quality and parameters of many complex mechanical phenomena as
well as the eects of various design factors such as size, shape, position, elastic
modulus, implanting conditions by surveying the plots of internal stressstrain,
and other parameters such as the main stresses and von Misses and Tresca yield
criteria. A good estimate of the applied loads is another important factor in
designing an implant.7,8 Various software packages are presented in the eld of the
nite element method and the ABAQUS software was applied in this paper due to
its high capability and accuracy in either plastic and nonlinear analyses in order to
model and simulate the three-dimensional four-point bending process. Because the
four-point bending process can be considered as a static process, the standard
method is used for simulation analysis.
2.1. Modeling
To draw the geometric model of the plates and holes, the ABAQUS/CAE software,
which is a subset of the ABAQUS software, was applied. Samples were modeled in
both actual conventional dimensions and other hypothetical dimensions in order to
make comparisons.
The applied nite element models were the three-dimensional models of the
plates with eight holes and the four-point bending tests were simulated under the
ISO 9585 standard procedure by applying the appropriate boundary conditions and
external load. The dimensional details of the basic broad and narrow eight-hole
plates used in the simulation are presented in Table 1. As mentioned, these details
have been considered in accordance with the actual conventional plates. The elastic
and plastic properties of plates were taken to be equal to the 316-L stainless steel
medical grade (Tables 2(a) and 2(b)). These plates were assumed to have isotropic
properties. Considering these criteria, the model was created following an iterative
process of mesh generation and mesh renement (Fig. 1).
The ABAQUS/STANDARD was used for three-dimensional analysis. The bulk
of the models were meshed by using the solid 20-noded hexahedral elements
(C3D20R) for the broad and narrow models with standard dimensions,and the
10-noded tetrahedral elements (C3D10M) for the broad models with the symmetric
hole arrangement. The locations of loading were meshed by using the 15-noded
quadratic triangular prism elements (C3D15) and the 10-noded tetrahedral elements
(3D10M). All elements were used by quadratic shape functions and a reduced
(2  2  3) integration scheme. In actual fact, these elements were opted to avert the

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Table 1. The dimensional details of the simulated standard broad and narrow basic eight-hole models,
all numbers are in mm.

Type of plate
Broad
Narrow

Thickness

Width

Length

Width of hole

Length of hole

Distance between
two central holes

4.5
3.5

16
12

135
135

5.8
5.8

8.5
8.5

17
17

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Table 2. Properties applied in nite


element analysis with respect to the 316-L
medical grade. (a) General and elastic
properties and (b) plastic properties.9
(a)
Youngs Modulus (GPa)
Poissons ratio

200
0.28

(b)
Plastic stress (MPa)
800
850
960

Plastic strain
0
0.125
0.250

(a)

(b)

Fig. 1. The part of partitioned and meshed models with two hole arrangement. (a) Asymmetric and
(b) symmetric.

shear locking in bending, which is common in rst order.10 Table 3 shows the type
and number of elements used in the simulation of the three types of eight-hole plates.
The input comprised the discretized mesh with elemental properties determining
the boundary conditions and loading history. The output of this program in addition
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP


Table 3. Type and number of elements applied in the simulation of plates.

Type of eight-hole model

Bulk elements

Load positions
elements

Standard broada
Symmetric broadb
Standard narrowc

C3D20R
C3D10M
C3D20R

C3D15
3D10M
C3D15

Total number
of elements

Total number
of nodes

8,288
11,636
6,128

42,515
19,462
29,552

Dimensions in accordance with Table 1, a broad plate with the asymmetric hole arrangement.
Dimensions in accordance with Table 1, a broad plate but with the symmetric hole arrangement.
c
Dimensions in accordance with Table 1, a narrow plate with the symmetric hole arrangement.

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to nodal displacements presented the state of stress at any location of the model. In
the regions with high stress gradients and in the locations of applied loads, ner
meshes and suitable partitions were required to achieve the accurate solutions. Mesh
renement is the process of systematically increasing the mesh density in these
regions to produce a more accurate stress contour plot where the greatest stress
gradient takes place in the models. Preliminary model solutions were used to
identify regions with high discretization error. From these initial results, it was
apparent that the most important regions for mesh renement were in the regions
adjacent to the screw holes and the locations of applied loads, thus a ne second
mesh was generated to achieve an acceptable level of numerical accuracy.
2.2. Loading
The models were loaded with two strips of uniform pressure and applying of
appropriate constraints. Also, the locations of these loads and constraints were
dened according to the ISO 9585 standard procedure.11 The ABAQUS/standard
automatically increases the load applied to each increment. Thus, the solution of
nonlinear problems (like in this study) is not so complicated and only the rst
increment size must be correctly dened at each step. To achieve convergence at
every increment, the software performs iterations are highly dependent on the
degree of nonlinearity of a system. As the default, if convergence is not achieved
subsequent to sixteen iterations at each step, the operation is stopped and a new
step size that is 25% higher than the previous one will be solved again. Figure 2(a)
shows the loading and the corresponding constraints.
2.3. Validation of the model
2.3.1. Final deformation in four-point bending
Based on empirical experiments, it was noticed that when a plate is placed under
four-point bending test (according to ISO 9585), it bends in the middle exactly along
the distance between two central holes. Figure 2(b) shows a schematic conguration
of this exure. The bent form can be divided into three segments of 1, 2 and 3,
among which the middle segment (segment 2) is at as shown in Fig. 3. In
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(a)

(b)
Fig. 2. Typical set-up of a four-point bending test according to the ISO 9585 standard. (a) Typical
simulated eight-hole broad model with its corresponding constraints and two bar loading bars and
(b) schematic conguration for the exure test of actual plates.

simulation, if the strain hardening properties are considered, the middle segment of
the model will completely atten (not arc-shaped) and the nal deformed shape
(Fig. 4(a)) will look similar to the actual pattern as shown in Fig. 3, while if only the
linear properties are dened, the middle segment will be arc-shaped and dier from
the real pattern (Fig. 4(b)).
2.3.2. Yield criteria
The equivalent plastic strain (PEEQ) was used to evaluate the yield condition of the
plates. In the case of most materials in an isotropic hardening plasticity theory, the
PEEQ is dened as Eq. (1):
r
2 pl
d" : d"pl
1
3
and is the total accumulation of plastic strain to dene the size of yield surface,
where d"pl is the plastic strain rate. If the PEEQ, which is a scalar variable, is
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP

Fig. 3. Actual deformation of a typical broad eight-hole plate after a four-point bending test with three
marked segments (1, 2 and 3).

(a)

(b)
Fig. 4. Final bent model in four-point bending test under the ISO 9585 procedure by considering
(a) strain hardening properties and (b) only linear properties.

positive, it means that the material has yielded. In fact, even if the nal form of the
model output le is similar to the one expected, simulation should be such that the
output le of maximum equivalent plastic strain must not become zero.10 Figure 5
shows the similar PEEQ developed in a broad eight-hole plate. The regions surrounding two middle holes have been identied as critical due to their relatively
large plastic deformation. It should be considered that there is no plastic deformation in the other regions during bending.

1350032-7

Fig. 5. Typical PEEQ contour for an eight-hole broad plate.

2.3.3. Loaddeection curve


Empirically speaking and according to the ISO 9585 standard procedure, some
conventional standard eight-hole plates were tested under the four-point bending
test under ISO 9585 conditions, and their respective loaddeection curves were
compared with a curve obtained from a simulated model of similar geometry and
properties (with regards to Tables 1 and 2). As a sample that is shown in Fig. 6, the
empirical test and FEA have excellent conformity with each other.
8
7
6

Load(KN)

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S. Baharnezhad et al.

5
4
3
2

4-point bending test


FEA
offset line (ISO 9585)

1
0
0

Defllection(mm)
Fig. 6. Comparison of loaddeection curves of a typical eight-hole plate obtained from the FEA and
four-point bending test in accordance to ISO 9585.
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP

3. Results and Discussion

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3.1. Study of the regions with stress concentration and comparsion


between the beam theory and FEA
Generally, there are two ways that beam bending problems are typically solved:
analytically using statics (e.g., beam theory), and computationally using the nite
element method. Regarding simplifying the assumptions of the classical beam theory such as homogenous and isotropic material and the actual plates geometry that
are three-dimensional, the beam theory cannot predict the exural phenomenon
with high accuracy, therefore, the beam theory and the simulation results were
compared to determine deviations from each other. On the other hand, although the
results of simulation can have more accuracy than the classical beam theory, it
should follow a general pattern similar to those of the beam theory. Considering
Figs. 7(a)7(c), it was found that the adjacent regions of the two central holes in
these plates are the regions with the highest stress concentration during bending
loading. Using the classical beam theory, the maximum tensile stress in the outer
surface of a four-point bending model was obtained from Eq. (2),12


3pa
;
bt2

where p is the maximum load, b is the width of the plate, t is plate thickness, and a is
the distance between the inner and outer rollers in the four-point bending set. As

(a)
Fig. 7. Three-dimensional deformed eight-hole models with dierent hole arrangement and Mises stress
distribution with regards to Tables 1 and 3. (a) An actual standard broad plate, (b) a symmetric broad
plate and (c) an actual standard narrow plate.
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S. Baharnezhad et al.

(b)

(c)
Fig. 7. (Continued )

shown in Fig. 8, the maximum tensile stress obtained from simulation is relatively
consistent with beam theory results. Therefore, if the graph of tensile stresses
(longitudinal stress of plate or 3 ) versus the outer span length is plotted using
both the beam theory and FEA as shown in Fig. 9, it can be seen that there are two
peaks (A and B) in the graph obtained from FEA that are located in the adjacent
regions to the two central holes, indicating two regions with the greatest stress
1350032-10

Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP

1115

1000

938.5

800
Beam theory

600

FEA
400

200

Fig. 8. Comparison between the maximum tensile stresses on the outer surface of plate derived from
FEA and beam theory.

1400

1200
Tensile stress (MPa)

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Maximum outer fiber stress(Mpa)

1200

1000

FEA

800

FEA
Beam Theory

600
400
Beam Theory

200
0
0

20

40

60

80

L (mm)

Fig. 9. Graph of tensile stresses 3 versus the longitudinal distance of the plate.

concentrations. This graph also exhibited a relatively good conformity with the
beam theory pattern.
3.2. Eect of dierent geometrical parameters on the exural
behavior of the models
Since studying of the eects of geometry and design parameters on the bending
performance of the plates was not empirically possible, these plates were modeled
and simulated under the terms of a four-point bending load where by its eects were
investigated. The parameters studied and the range of their changes have been
selected by deriving inspiration from the actual plates (more than 20 plates from
various prominent manufacturers). The basic model is equivalent to a broad plate
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with a thickness of 4 mm, a width of 16 mm, the distance between two central holes
of 17 mm, and the distance between holes and edge of 3 mm.

To examine the eect of this parameter, two similar models of only dierent
thicknesses were simulated (4 and 4.5 mm). The obtained loaddeection curves
(Fig. 10(a)) and the maximum Mises stresses (Fig. 10(b)) showed that as the thickness
increases, this curve undergoes an upward shift and there would be a subsequent
increase in bending strength and stiness. Naturally, the increase in the thickness of
the plates should be avoided during both phases of design and manufacturing as
much as possible due to the problems arising from stress shielding,which is one of
the most common problems encountered in the treatment of fractured bones.1315
Considering Fig. 11, it was found that all components of shear stresses of the thicker
model are greater than the thinner one, and typically in these plates, the component
of shear stress S13 is larger than the two other components.
3.2.2. Eect of the distance between two central holes
To examine the eect of this parameter, two similar models of only dierent distances between the two middle holes were simulated (15 and 17 mm). The obtained
loaddeection curves (Fig. 12(a)) and the maximum Mises stresses (Fig. 12(b))
showed that a variation of up to 2 mm in this parameter would lead to no signicant
dierence in bending strength and stiness of the two models. As Fig. 13 shows, it is
obvious that the principal stresses in the transverse component of plates (S11) are
several times larger than the other two components (S22 and S33), although these
values did not show much dierence between these two models.

1400

8000
7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
t=4.5mm
t=4mm

1000

Maximum mises stress(Mpa)

9000

Load(N)

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3.2.1. Eect of thickness

1200

1291
1041

1000
800
600
400
200
0

0
0

0.001

0.002

0.003

0.004

t=4.5 mm

Deflection(m)

(a)

t=4 mm

(b)

Fig. 10. Comparison of two models with dierent thicknes. (a) Loaddeection curves. (b) Maximum
Mises stresses.
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP


600
18%

37%

400

25%
t=4.5mm
t=4mm

300

200

100

0
S12

S13

S23

Fig. 11. Comparison of the typical shear stresses in two models with two dierent thicknesses.

1400

1290

1290

7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000

mid-dist=17mm

1000

mid-dist=15mm

0
0

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.008

0.01

Maximum Mises stress(Mpa)

8000

Load(N)

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Shear stress(Mpa)

500

1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
Mid-dist=17 mm

Deflection(m)

(a)

Mid-dist=15 mm

(b)

Fig. 12. Comparison of two models with dierent distances of the two central holes. (a) Loaddeection
curves. (b) Maximum Mises stresses.

3.2.3. Eect of hole size


To examine the eect of this parameter, two similar models of only dierent hole
sizes were simulated. In the two-dimensional mode, the geometry of the hole does
not look like an ellipse, but in the meantime, it consists of two elliptical halves
placed on the two ends of a rectangle (Fig. 1). The width of the holes in the rst
model is 5.8 mm (exactly similar to that of the common original eight-hole plates)
and it is 4.8 mm in the case of the second model. Figure 14(a) shows that if the hole
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S. Baharnezhad et al.
900

3%

800
700
Stress(Mpa)

600
500

mid-dist=17mm
mid-dist=15mm

400
300
5%

200

0.7%

0
s22

s11

s33

Fig. 13. Typical principal Mises stresses for two models with dierent distances of the two central holes.
S11 is the component of principal stress through the plate width.

1400

9000

1290
1152

1200

7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000

Original holes

1000

Smaller holes

Maximum Mises stress(Mpa)

8000

Load(N)

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100

1000
800
600
400
200

0
0

0.002

0.004

0.006

0
Original holes

Deflection(m)

(a)

Smaller holes

(b)

Fig. 14. Comparison of two models with dierent hole sizes. (a) Loaddeection curves. (b) Maximum
Mises stresses.

size is reduced, the loaddeection curve shifts higher and the exural strength and
stiness would increase due to its larger cross-section in bending. The maximum
Mises stresses are also reduced (Fig. 14(b)).
3.2.4. Eect of the arrangement of holes
In this section, two similar models, where only symmetric and asymmetric hole
arrangement dier, the shapes of conventional narrow and broad plates were
simulated, respectively. Figure 15(a) shows that the sample with a symmetric hole
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP


1400
Maximum Mises stress(Mpa)

9000
8000
7000

Load(N)

6000
5000
4000
3000
2000

Broad

1000

Narrow

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0
0

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.008

0.01

1290
1172

1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
Broad

Deflection(m)

(a)

Narrow

(b)

Fig. 15. Comparison of two models with symmetric (narrow) and asymmetric (broad) hole arrangement.
(a) Loaddeection curves. (b) Maximum Mises stresses.

arrangement (narrow plate) has a higher curve than an asymmetric sample (broad
plate); in other words, narrow samples present higher bending strength and stiness
than the broad ones. Considering Fig. 15(b), it is clear that the sample with an
asymmetric hole arrangement has a larger maximum Mises stress than a symmetric
one. Generally, in the asymmetric samples, only the lowest distance from the middle
holes to the edge of plate endure the highest stress concentrations, while for the
symmetric samples, the stress concentrations in these two sides are also the same
since both of the distances between the edges of the plate and middle holes are equal
to each other.
3.2.5. Eect of width
Here, two similar models of only dierent widths (15 and 16 mm) were simulated.
The obtained result indicated that the greater the width is, the higher the
bending strength and stiness (Fig. 16(a)) and the lower the maximum Mises stress
(Fig. 16(b)).
3.2.6. Eect of the distance between holes and edge of plate
In this section, four similar models with only dierence in the distance between the
holes and the edge of the plate were simulated. Practically, because these distances,
similar to those in the real plates, are small, there was no need to study more
models. For the rst model, the distance between the outside edge of the hole to the
edge of the plate was 3 mm (the holes were far from the central axis of the model),
while it was 4 mm for the second (the holes were closer to the central axis of the
model), 4.5 mm for the third, and 5.1 mm in the case of the last (the centers of holes
placed on the central axis of the model). Comparing the loaddeection curves of
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S. Baharnezhad et al.
1200
1058

9000
Maximum Mises stress(Mpa)

8000
7000

Load(N)

6000
5000
4000
3000
2000

w=15mm

800

600

400

200

w=16mm

0
0

0.0005

0.001
0.0015
Deflection(m)

0.002

0.0025

W=15 mm

(a)

W=16 mm

(b)

Fig. 16. Comparison of two models with dierent widths. (a) Loaddeection curves. (b) Maximum
Mises stresses.

both the initial and ultimate models presented in Fig. 17(a), it is found that if the
holes in the model are initially more distant from the edges of plates, the load will be
greater and the model would have better bending properties. However, on the other
hand, considering Fig. 17(b) and curves AD, especially curve B, it is important to
note that the curve of loaddeection would not always ascend due to the
approximation of the holes toward the central axis of the model and a symmetrical
hole arrangement since this curve and consequently the exural properties will
be maximized at a point along this distance (3 to 5.1 mm). Thus, in identical

9000

9000

8000

8000

7000

7000

6000

6000
Load(N)

Load(N)

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1000

1041

1000

5000
4000
3000

5000
4000

edge=3 mm

3000

2000

edge=3mm

2000

1000

edge=4mm

1000

edge=5.1 mm
(symm)
edge= 4 mm

edge=4.5 mm

0
0

0.002

0 .0 04

Deflection(m)

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.008

0.01

Deflection(m)

(a)

(b)

Fig. 17. Comparison of loaddeection curves and maximum Mises stresses for several similar models
with only a dierence in the distance between the holes and plate edge. (a) Two models, (b) four models
and (c) maximum Mises stresses.
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP


1400

1290
1220

Maximum Mises stress(Mpa)

1200

1195

1040
1000
800

Edge=3 mm
Edge=4 mm

600

Edge=5.1 mm
Edge=4.5 mm

400
200
0

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5.1

4.5

(c)
Fig. 17. (Continued )

conditions, if this optimal point is precisely dened and implemented in design, a


plate with the asymmetric hole arrangement can ultimately provide the maximum
exural strength even greater than a plate with asymmetric hole arrangement. This
optimized distance between the outside edge of the hole and the edge of the plate
was concluded to be 4 mm in the case of these models. In fact, it seems that among
all geometry and design factors considered, this factor has the most important
inuence on the bending behavior of plates. Also, according to Fig. 17(c), it is clear
that on a model with a lower loaddeection curve, the maximum Mises stress is
greater than the model with an higher curve.
3.2.7. The eect of changing more than one parameter and an all-inclusive
comparison of geometry and design elements
Thus far, the eects of individual parameters on loaddeection were studied
separately. As will be explained in the next section, the simultaneous changing
eects of more than one parameter plays an important role. Here, the range of
variables selected were also the same previous quantities and they were in such way
that can be practically duplicated and implemented in the manufacture of the actual
plates.
As can be seen in Fig. 18, by increasing the thickness and decreasing the distance
between two central holes simultaneously, the exural properties slightly are
increased. Also, by increasing the thickness and decreasing the width of the model
concurrently, a slight decrease in exural properties can be seen. In the designing
process of orthopedic plates by increasing the thickness, the eects of stress
shielding should always be considered as a crucial limitation. Eventually, if the
distance between two central holes also decreases while the distance between holes
and the edge of the plate is considered optimal (i.e., 4 mm), the exural properties
will be slightly higher than when the optimized edge distance only is applied.
1350032-17

S. Baharnezhad et al.
9000

greater thk

8000

optimized
edge
dist=4mm

optimized
edge
dist&
shorter
mid-dist

7000

symm hole

smaller hole

6000
Load(N)

edge dist=
4.5 mm

greater thk &


smaller width

basic model-broad
(asymm)

shorter mid-dist

symm hole &


greater thk

5000
4000

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3000
2000
1000
0
0

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.008

0.01

Deflection(m)

Fig. 18. Comparison of changing the geometry and design parameters, both one and more than one
parameter all together.

According to all obtained results, it can be generally said that among all the
geometrical factors discussed, the distance between the outside edge of the holes and
the edge of the plate, thickness, hole size, and width of the plates have the greatest
impact on bending behavior of plates, respectively.
4. Conclusions
Although as the thickness and width of the plates increase, the exural properties
also increase, the eect of thickness is much greater than that of the width. Of
course, the design limitations arising from stress shielding and the relevant bone size
should also be accounted for, and increasing the thickness is not necessarily a safe
way to increase the exural strength. The smaller the hole size, the higher the
bending strength and stiness will be; however, it should also be noted that a hole
could be designed so small to the extent that there is no limitation on the manufacturing of a thinner plate screw with weaker mechanical properties.
As the simulation results showed, the highest concentration of stress in the fourpoint bending test is accumulated in the distances between the two central holes and
the edge of the plate, hence the hole drilling technique by CNC machine is of
particular importance.
FEA results had excellent conformity with those of the empirical exure, and
also had the relative conformity with the classical beam theory in predicting both
the maximum tensile stresses in the outer ber and longitudinal stresses of plates.
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Inuence of Geometry and Design Parameters on Flexural Behavior of DCP

Among all geometric parameters considered, the distance between the hole edge
to the edge of the plate and the degree of symmetry or asymmetry of the hole
arrangement were found to be the most important factors in determining the exural
behavior of plates. The signicant point is that by shifting the location of holes
toward the central axis of the plate and approaching a more symmetric hole
arrangement, but even though the exural strength would increase in the rst place
so that it becomes maximum at a special point along this distance, after that point,
the exure strength would decrease. This optimized point was found to be 4 mm for a
broad eight-hole plate. The results also demonstrated that the impact of applying
this optimal distance on exural properties is approximately equal to the impact of
increasing the thickness size to 0.5 mm. It was also observed that next to this parameter, the thickness, hole size, and width of the plates have the greatest impact on
the exural behavior of plates. While a single variation of up to 2 mm in the distance
between the two central holes would have no signicant eect, by decreasing this
parameter in conjunction with considering the optimum distance between the hole
edge to the edge of the plate, a slight increase in mechanical properties was seen.
Even though a slight impact in changing more than one parameter on the curves
of loaddeection rather than changing only one parameter was observed, results
showed that by concurrently applying the optimum distance between the hole edge
to the edge of the plate and reducing the distance between two central holes, sized
2 mm, the maximum exural properties can be obtained.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the Pooyandegan Pezeshki Pardis Company for
their nancial support and cooperation.

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S. Baharnezhad et al.

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