2005 Volume 48 Issue 4 Pages 472-480
Despite its clinical importance in developing artificial bone, limited information is available regarding the microstructure with respect to the fatigue characteristics of bones. In this study, the fatigue characteristics of the bovine humerus and femur were investigated with respect to microstructures. Fatigue tests were conducted on the bovine humerus and femur at a stress ratio of 0.1 and a frequency of 10Hz. The fatigue strength of the plexiform bone is slightly greater than that of the haversian bone. This is because the volume fraction of voids in the haversian bone, which is the site of stress concentration, is higher than that of voids in the plexiform bone. Several microcracks are observed on the fatigue fracture surface of the haversian bone. The microcracks are short and their propagation directions are random. However, the number of the microcracks in the plexiform bone is very small. The microcracks are relatively long and their propagation directions are parallel to the longitudinal direction of the lamellar bone. Therefore, the crack requires relatively more energy to propagate across the lamella in the plexiform bone.