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Numerical analysis of a transtibial prosthesis socket using 3D-Printed Bio-Based PLA
Vasja Plesec, Jani Humar, Polona Dobnik-Dubrovski, Gregor Harih, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Lower-limb prosthesis design and manufacturing still rely mostly on the workshop process of trial-and-error using expensive unrecyclable composite materials, resulting in time-consuming, material-wasting, and, ultimately, expensive prostheses. Therefore, we investigated the possibility of utilizing Fused Deposition Modeling 3D-printing technology with inexpensive bio-based and bio-degradable Polylactic Acid (PLA) material for prosthesis socket development and manufacturing. The safety and stability of the proposed 3D-printed PLA socket were analyzed using a recently developed generic transtibial numeric model, with boundary conditions of donning and newly developed realistic gait cycle phases of a heel strike and forefoot loading according to ISO 10328. The material properties of the 3D-printed PLA were determined using uniaxial tensile and compression tests on transverse and longitudinal samples. Numerical simulations with all boundary conditions were performed for the 3D-printed PLA and traditional polystyrene check and definitive composite socket. The results showed that the 3D-printed PLA socket withstands the occurring von-Mises stresses of 5.4 MPa and 10.8 MPa under heel strike and push-off gait conditions, respectively. Furthermore, the maximum deformations observed in the 3D-printed PLA socket of 0.74 mm and 2.66 mm were similar to the check socket deformations of 0.67 mm and 2.52 mm during heel strike and push-off, respectively, hence providing the same stability for the amputees. We have shown that an inexpensive, bio-based, and bio-degradable PLA material can be considered for manufacturing the lower-limb prosthesis, resulting in an environmentally friendly and inexpensive solution.
Keywords: 3D printing, bio-based, polylactic acid, PLA, prosthesis, prosthesis socket, numerical model, finite element method
Published in DKUM: 14.03.2024; Views: 69; Downloads: 17
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Numerical modeling of two-phase flow inside a wet flue gas absorber sump
Nejc Vovk, Jure Ravnik, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: A numerical model of a flue gas scrubber sump is developed with the aim of enabling optimization of the design of the sump in order to reduce energy consumption. In this model, the multiphase flow of the continuous phase, i.e., water, and the dispersed phase, i.e., air bubbles, is considered. The air that is blown in front of the agitators, as well as the influence of the flow field of the agitators on the distribution of the dispersed phase and the recirculation pumps as outlet, is modeled. The bubble Sauter mean diameter is modeled using the population balance model. The model is used to analyze operating parameters such as the bubble retention time, the average air volume fraction, bubble Sauter mean diameter, the local distribution of the bubble size and the amount of air escaping from the pump outlets at two operating points. The purpose of the model is to simulate the two-phase flow in the sump of the flue gas scrubber using air dispersion technology with a combination of spargers and agitators, which, when optimized, reduces energy consumption by 33%. The results show that the homogeneity of air is lower in the bottom part of the absorber sump and that the amount of air escaping through recirculation pipes equals 1.2% of the total air blown into the absorber sump. The escaping air consists mainly of bubbles smaller than 6 mm. Additional operating point results show that halving the magnitude of the linear momentum source lowers the air retention, as well as the average homogeneity of the dispersed air
Keywords: flue gas scrubbing, air dispersion, numerical model, OpenFoam
Published in DKUM: 19.12.2023; Views: 212; Downloads: 14
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Computer modelling of the residual limb for the development of prosthetic sockets and liners with the cellular structure : doctoral disertation
Vasja Plesec, 2023, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: The production of lower limb prostheses continues to rely primarily on manual methods, which are outdated and characterized by labour-intensive processes, lengthy time requirements, high costs, and a heavy reliance on the expertise of prosthetists. Achieving a satisfactory fit between the residual limb and socket remains a challenge, often leading to discomfort, pain, and potential wearer tissue damage. However, advancements in computer technology and numerical simulation offer an opportunity to predict stresses and strains experienced by the residual limb during prosthesis usage. This, in turn, aids in the development process by enhancing the design of the prosthetic socket and liner through virtual environments. In this dissertation we developed a generic numerical transtibial model to bridge the gap between clinical practice and numerical simulations. Biomechanically validated, this model generates outcomes applicable to a broader amputee population, facilitating comparative analysis of socket and liner designs and materials under different loading conditions. Furthermore, the dissertation explores the utilization of a 3D-printed socket manufactured through the cost-effective fused filament fabrication process, using polylactic acid filament, aiming to reduce the costs and establish a streamlined production process. The 3D-printed socket was evaluated within the virtual environment using the developed transtibial model. The numerical findings indicate that the 3D-printed socket can effectively withstand the loads encountered during the stages of prosthesis donning, single-leg stance, heel strike, and push-off, thereby presenting a viable alternative to the prevalent composite socket. Additionally, a cellular structure composed of a flexible thermoplastic elastomeric material is proposed as a prosthetic liner to enhance comfort by reducing contact pressure while maintaining the required stability. Numerical results indicate that by manipulating cellular parameters such as unit cell type and relative density of the structure, a customized response can be achieved. This customized response effectively reduces contact pressure for a given scenario without increasing displacement, thereby improving comfort while maintaining stability.
Keywords: lower-limb prosthesis, generic numerical transtibial model, 3D-printed socket, cellular structure liner, finite element method
Published in DKUM: 14.11.2023; Views: 469; Downloads: 23
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Implementation and verification of a geosynthetic-soil interface constitutive model in the Geogrid element of FLAC$^{3D}$
Wu Haimin, Shu Yiming, Dai Linjun, Teng Zhaoming, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Due to the complexity of geosynthetic-soil interactions, the simple interface constitutive models embedded in the geosynthetic elements of general computing software cannot satisfy the requirements for a numerical simulation of different geosynthetic-soil interface behaviours. Based on the direct shear test results of a composite geomembrane (CGM) and polyurethane (PUR) mixed crushed stones interface, a nonlinear elastic, perfectly plastic model was used to describe the interface behaviours. The method of incorporating an interface constitutive model into the Geogrid element of a fast Lagrange analysis of continua in three dimensions (FLAC3D) procedure was presented in detail through a user-defined program in the FISH environment. Then the incorporated model of the Geogrid element was used to simulate the direct tests of the CGM-PUR mixed crushed stones interface. The results of the numerical tests confirmed the validity and reliability of the incorporated model. The method and program flowchart for implementing the nonlinear elastic, perfectly plastic interface constitutive model into the Geogrid element can provide a reference for users who want to simulate other geosynthetic-soil interface behaviours with FLAC3D.
Keywords: geosynthetic-soil interface, constitutive model, numerical modelling, FLAC3D, geogrid element
Published in DKUM: 14.06.2018; Views: 1397; Downloads: 68
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A three-dimensional static numerical model of a complex underground structure in high squeezing ground
Tina Marolt Čebašek, Jakob Likar, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: The present study assesses high squeezing ground confirmed by empirical and semi-empirical theories. High squeezing ground is often present in underground constructions at great depths, but it is hardly ever researched separately from light and fair squeezing ground. A three-dimensional, static numerical model is developed for a complex underground structure consisting of a shaft, a silo, and a mine roadway at great depth, which is certainly in high squeezing ground. Furthermore, a solution for the entire structure based on shotcrete with incorporated yielding elements is provided. The yielding elements, in general, absorb the strain energy by compressing at a relatively constant stress, but without rebounding. A three-dimensional, static numerical model of a support system with incorporated yielding elements is established in order to demonstrate that the presented forces are under control. Therefore, a failure of the lining is avoided because the stresses in the shotcrete lining are below its load-bearing capacity. It can be concluded that yielding elements incorporated in the shotcrete lining play an important role in the support solution in high squeezing ground.
Keywords: high squeezing ground, numerical model, underground structures, deformations, yielding support element
Published in DKUM: 14.06.2018; Views: 1110; Downloads: 186
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Numerical simulation of the pile integrity test on defected piles
Mladen Ćosić, Boris Folić, Radomir Folić, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: This paper deals with the development of a discrete numerical 2D and 3D solid pile model with a discontinuity and defects to simulate non-destructive testing using the pile integrity test (PIT). The pile discontinuity and defects were modelled by reducing the specific finite elements and the elastic modulus of concrete. The wave-propagation response of the pile was analyzed based on a step-by-step numerical integration using the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor (HHT) method in the time domain. The concept of a system-response analysis was originally formulated based on the integration of individual reflectograms into a reflectogram surface, which is generated in a 3D cylindrical coordinate system. The use of reflectogram surfaces enables an understanding of wave propagation based on their velocity to a higher level than is usually the case with standard, one-dimensional reflectograms. Changes in the velocity responses on the reflectogram, shifting from a positive to a negative value, point to the locations of discontinuities and defects in the discrete 3D pile model, and there is a clear difference in the reflectograms, depending on the position of the measuring point. The study defines the typological models of the reflectogram: without discontinuities and defects, pile-head defect, defect in the middle of the pile length or a reduced modulus of elasticity in the middle of the pile length, pile-base defect or reduced modulus of elasticity in the pile-base zone and reduced modulus of elasticity in the pile-head zone.
Keywords: reflectogram surface, numerical pile model, solid finite elements
Published in DKUM: 14.06.2018; Views: 1093; Downloads: 81
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Numerical modeling of floating prefabricated vertical drains in layered soil
Ikhya Ikhya, Helmut Schweiger, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: This paper presents a comparison of field measurements and a numerical model of settlements based on the construction of an embankment on soft soil for the Cirebon Power Plant Project in Indonesia, where prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) were installed. In the numerical model, floating PVDs in two soil layers for two- and one-way drainage conditions are examined in order to determine the optimum penetration depth. In this study, good agreement between the field measurements of the settlements and the numerical prediction could be achieved. An interesting result of this study is that the differences in the stiffness and/or the permeability in the unimproved area below the PVD tip have a significant influence on the optimum penetration depth (L/H) in the two-soil-layer condition. The numerical study showed that it is possible to use floating PVDs in single drainage conditions if the second layer is stiffer and/or more permeable than the first layer.
Keywords: two soil layers, floating prefabricated vertical drain, double and single drainage, numerical model, soft clay, consolidation
Published in DKUM: 13.06.2018; Views: 1129; Downloads: 86
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Advances and uncertainties in the design of anchored retaining walls using numerical modelling
Antun Szavits-Nossan, 2008, original scientific article

Abstract: This paper describes research on the prediction of horizontal displacements and internal forces in an anchored wall for the protection of an excavation, using standard field and laboratory tests and a finite-element programme with a soil model that can simulate the key aspects of soil behaviour at a construction site. It is important to be acquainted with the constitutive model incorporated in the programme, and the selection of the appropriate soil parameters for the numerical analysis is a crucial part of the modelling. As a result, it is useful to carry out numerical simulations of standard laboratory tests with well-known soil behaviour in order to select the relevant parameters for the simulation of the actual construction process. It is shown in this paper that the measurements of the shear-wave velocities, which can provide the soil’s stiffness at very small strains, can also be useful for determining the static stiffness at a magnitude of the strains relevant for the geotechnical structure under consideration, for both cohesive and noncohesive soils. The research was carried out by a detailed analysis of a case history involving an anchored, reinforced concrete wall supporting the walls of an excavation in a relatively stiff soil. The wall displacements were monitored using an installed inclinometer. The major part of the paper is devoted to an analysis of the selection of parameters, especially the stiffness parameters. The simulation of the triaxial, consolidated, undrained tests was used in order to assess the reduction of the secant stiffness modulus with an increase of the relative mobilized shear strength for the hard clay layer according to the published empirical evidence. It is shown that by selecting the appropriate stiffness parameters for the soil model used in the numerical analysis, it is possible to get an acceptable prediction of the anchored-wall displacements. This is just one example of a successful analysis, but it is encouraging in the way that it shows how it is possible to make reliable predictions based on standard field and laboratory tests and with the use of an available computer programme with a realistic soil model.
Keywords: anchored wall, soil model, shear stiffness, numerical modelling, measured displacements
Published in DKUM: 01.06.2018; Views: 844; Downloads: 89
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Material parameters for a numerical simulation of a compaction process for sintered double-height gears
Tomaž Verlak, Marko Šori, Srečko Glodež, 2015, professional article

Abstract: This paper presents the initial material parameters for the Ecka Alumix 231 aluminum-powdered metal required for a successful numerical simulation of a compaction process for sintered components with a proper software package. Experimental work was used to obtain Drucker-Prager-cap (DPC) model material parameters with the help of a Brazilian disc test and a uniaxial compression test for the linear part of the DPC model in the equivalent pressure stress/deviatoric stress (p-q) plane. The specimens used for this test were cylindrical probes (greens) that were compacted with a mechanical press and then compressed to the failure point in the axial and radial directions.
Keywords: aluminum-based powder, compaction process, Drucker-Prager cap model, numerical simulation, Ecka Alumix 231
Published in DKUM: 16.03.2017; Views: 1453; Downloads: 411
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