This paper compares the bending stiffness of 5 different colours of copolymer polypropylene (CCP) with that of natural copolymer polypropylene (NCP). Flesh coloured and natural sheets are supplied thicker than other pigmented sheet. The bending stiffness of a specimen may be defined as EI, i.e. the product of E, Young's modulus of elasticity and I, the 2nd moment of area. Strips of "as supplied" (AS) and "post-draped" (PD) specimen were clamped and subjected to bending to assess the effect of pigmentation on bending characteristics. The gradient of the graph of bending deflection delta versus bending moment enables EI to be estimated. The process of thermoforming polypropylene reduces EI, the bending stiffness. However, the manual draping and vacuum procedure introduces so many variables that it is difficult to quantify the effect of pigmentation. The E of a bent specimen may be estimated from the gradient of the graph of deltaI versus bending moment. In the case of AS sheet, the effect of pigmentation on E is inconclusive. PD specimens indicate a significant reduction in E due to thermoforming. This was verified by an electron-microscope study of AS and PD specimens. Draping an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) results in a non-uniform wall thickness. The results of this study with respect to the effects of pigmentation on the bending stiffness of AFOs are inconclusive. More detailed studies require to be completed in order to confirm which factors are responsible for this non-uniformity in wall thickness and consequent variation in bending stiffness.
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