Development of a non-linear finite element modelling of the below-knee prosthetic socket interface

Ming Zhang, M. Lord, A. R. Turner-Smith, V. C. Roberts

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


A non-linear finite element model has been established to predict the pressure and shear stress distribution at the limb-socket interface in below-knee amputees with consideration of the skin-liner interface friction and slip. In this model, the limb tissue and socket liner were respectively meshed into 954 and 450 three-dimensional eight-node isoparametric brick elements, based on measurements of an individual's amputated limb surface; the bone was meshed into three-dimensional six-node triangular prism elements, based on radiographic measurements of the individual's residual limb. The socket shell was assumed to be a rigid boundary. An important feature of this model is the use of 450 interface elements (ABAQUS INTER4) which mimic the interface friction condition. The results indicate that a maximum pressure of 226 kPa, shear stress of 53 kPa and less than 4 mm slip exist at the skin-liner interface when the full body weight of 800 N is applied to the limb. The results also show that the coefficient of friction is a very sensitive parameter in determining the interface pressures, shear stresses and slip. With the growth of coefficient of friction, the shear stresses will increase, while the pressure and slip will decrease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-566
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • finite element model
  • friction
  • interface stress
  • Prosthesis
  • slip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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