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Effect of solid distribution on elastic properties of open-cell cellular solids using numerical and experimental methods

A. Zargarian, M. Esfahanian, J. Kadkhodapour, S. Ziaei-Rad

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 37, September 2014, Pages 264-273



Effect of solid distribution between edges and vertices of three-dimensional cellular solid with an open-cell structure was investigated both numerically and experimentally. Finite element analysis (FEA) with continuum elements and appropriate periodic boundary condition was employed to calculate the elastic properties of cellular solids using tetrakaidecahedral (Kelvin) unit cell. Relative densities between 0.01 and 0.1 and various values of solid fractions were considered. In order to validate the numerical model, three scaffolds with the relative density of 0.08, but different amounts of solid in vertices, were fabricated via 3-D printing technique. Good agreement was observed between numerical simulation and experimental results. Results of numerical simulation showed that, at low relative densities (<0.03), Young׳s modulus increased by shifting materials away from edges to vertices at first and then decreased after reaching a critical point. However, for the high values of relative density, Young׳s modulus increased monotonically. Mechanisms of such a behavior were discussed in detail. Results also indicated that Poisson׳s ratio decreased by increasing relative density and solid fraction in vertices. By fitting a curve to the data obtained from the numerical simulation and considering the relative density and solid fraction in vertices, empirical relations were derived for Young׳s modulus and Poisson׳s ratio



Kelvin cell; Solid distribution; Elastic properties; Scaffold


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