The mechanical properties of trabecular bone and a simple plug prosthetic system have been determined over a range of displacement from 0.1 to 5 mm/mm. Acoustic emission, a technique which is capable of detecting dynamic processes within a material, was used to monitor the compression tests on the prosthetic system. It was found that the stiffness and strength of trabecular bone and the prosthetic system increased with increasing strain rate of testing. The acoustic emission results demonstrated that the improvement in mechanical behaviour at tho fast strain rates was accompanied by a decrease in the extent of the failure of the trabeculae. The technique of activation analysis has been applied to the results in order to identify the rate controlling fracture mechanism. Finally, the strength of the prosthetic system was correlated with the shear and compressive strengths of trabecular bone. © 1985.
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