Weibull analysis of fracture test data on bovine cortical bone: Influence of orientation

Morshed Khandaker, Stephen Ekwaro-Osire

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The fracture toughness, KIC, of a cortical bone has been experimentally determined by several researchers. The variation of KIC values occurs from the variation of specimen orientation, shape, and size during the experiment. The fracture toughness of a cortical bone is governed by the severest flaw and, hence, may be analyzed using Weibull statistics. To the best of the authors' knowledge, however, no studies of this aspect have been published. The motivation of the study is the evaluation of Weibull parameters at the circumferential-longitudinal (CL) and longitudinal-circumferential (LC) directions. We hypothesized that Weibull parameters vary depending on the bone microstructure. In the present work, a two-parameter Weibull statistical model was applied to calculate the plane-strain fracture toughness of bovine femoral cortical bone obtained using specimens extracted from CL and LC directions of the bone. It was found that the Weibull modulus of fracture toughness was larger for CL specimens compared to LC specimens, but the opposite trend was seen for the characteristic fracture toughness. The reason for these trends is the microstructural and extrinsic toughening mechanism differences between CL and LC directions bone. The Weibull parameters found in this study can be applied to develop a damage-mechanics model for bone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number639841
JournalInternational Journal of Biomaterials
StatePublished - 2013


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