Bellamy, Kathryn, Limbert, G., Waters, Mark G. and Middleton, J.
An elastomeric material for facial prostheses: synthesis, experimental and numerical testing aspects
Biomaterials, 24, (27), . (doi:10.1016/S0142-9612(03)00412-5).
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Current materials used for maxillofacial prostheses are far from ideal and there is a need for new improved materials which better simulate the tissues they are replacing. This study was based on a mixed experimental/analytical/numerical approach. A new polymeric material was developed to provide a better alternative to the materials currently used in maxillofacial prosthetics. A series of experimental tensile tests were performed in order to characterise the tensile properties of the material. A Mooney–Rivlin type hyperelastic formulation was chosen to describe the constitutive behaviour of the polymer which operates at the finite strain regime. The material parameters (two) of the constitutive law were identified with the experimental data. The Mooney–Rivlin material was found to be suitable to represent accurately the mechanical behaviour of the polymer up to 50% strain as shown by the excellent agreement between analytical and experimental results. An FE model reproducing all the characteristics of the experimental tensile tests was built and a series of three FE analyses were conducted and has proven the proper finite element implementation of the material model. This preliminary study will serve as a basis to introduce more complex features such as viscoelasticity and wrinkling of the soft polymeric structure in order to optimise the performances of the final prosthetic material.
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