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An analysis of contact stiffness between a finger and an object when wearing an air-cushioned glove: the effects of the air pressure.

Authors
Wu-JZ; Wimer-BM; Welcome-DE; Dong-RG
Source
Med Eng Phys 2012 Apr; 3(4):386-393
NIOSHTIC No.
20039638
Abstract
Air-cushioned gloves have the advantages of lighter weight, lower cost, and unique mechanical performance, compared to gloves made of conventional engineering materials. The goal of this study is to analyze the contact interaction between fingers and object when wearing an air-cushioned glove. The contact interactions between the the fingertip and air bubbles, which is considered as a cell of a typical air-cushioned glove, has been analyzed theoretically. Two-dimensional finite element models were developed for the analysis. The fingertip model was assumed to be composed of skin layers, subcutaneous tissue, bone, and nail. The air bubbles were modeled as air sealed in the container of nonelastic membrane. We simulated two common scenarios: a fingertip in contact with one single air bubble and with two air cushion bubbles simultaneously. Our simulation results indicated that the internal air pressure can modulate the fingertip-object contact characteristics. The contact stiffness reaches a minimum when the initial air pressure is equal to 1.3 and 1.05 times of the atmosphere pressure for the single air bubble and the double air bubble contact, respectively. Furthermore, the simulation results indicate that the double air bubble contact will result in smaller volumetric tissue strain than the single air bubble contact for the same force.
Keywords
Biodynamics; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanics; Engineering; Ergonomics; Gloves; Laboratory-testing; Measurement-equipment; Models; Testing-equipment
Contact
John Z. Wu, Engineering & Control Technology Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, MS L-2027, WV 26505
CODEN
MEPHEO
Publication Date
20120401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
ozw8@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
B09282011
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1350-4533
NIOSH Division
HELD
Source Name
Medical Engineering & Physics
State
WV
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