External hip protectors are used by the elderly in preventing hip fracture due to sideway falls. There are some commercial hip protectors which has both energy absorbing and energy shunting properties. In this study, a novel hip protector using shear thickening polymer (STP) is studied. The purpose of this work is to determine the optimal thickness of STP needed for maximum force attenuation. A mechanical test rig to simulate a person falling with sufficient impact energy to fracture the greater trochanter if unprotected was used together with biofidelic femur model which simulates the layer of flesh with skin. 8mm of STP together with 5mm foam gives the best force attenuation. When comparing the overall thickness with commercial hip protectors, STP hip protectors tested have much less thickness. Reduced thickness increases the compliance and comfort of STP hip protectors.
"BIOMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF SHEER THICKENING POLYMER (STP)-BASED HIP PROTECTORS,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 35
, Article 207.
Available at: http://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol35/iss1/207