Normal and Tangential Contact of Layered Spheres as Models of Joint Contact

by A. W. Eberhardt, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
J. L. Lewis, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
L. M. Keer, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Mechanics Computing in 1990's and Beyond


The causes of cracking in degenerating cartilage are examined using analytical models of layered elastic spheres in normal and tangential contact. Vertical surface and deep radial cracks as well as interfacial separation between cartilage and bone are observed in osteoarthritic joints. Blunt trauma experiments show vertical cracking in the underlying bone and calcified cartilage, and at the cartilage surface for higher loads. The single layer model shows that normal loading induces tensile stresses at the surface for small contact radius to layer thickness (a/h) values. Significant shear stress is predicted at the cartilage-bone interface.

Subject Headings: Layered systems | Spheres | Structural models | Joints | Elastic analysis | Load factors | Shear stress | Radiation

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