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A study of breast motion using non-linear dynamic FE analysis

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This paper presents a new method to simulate non-linear breast motion by using a three-dimensional (3D) dynamic finite element model (FEM). The model consists of a thorax with two breasts and three skin layers with specific mechanical properties. Using free breast vibration, the viscous damping ratios were ascertained to be 0.215 for an 80B size breast. The shear modulus for the breast was derived as the value that gave the minimum difference between the FEM-predicted results and the experimental data. A hyper-elastic neo-Hookean material model simulated the large deformation of breast tissue. The mode shapes of breast motions at different natural frequencies were established. The highest breast displacement amplitude ratio relative to the thorax was at 4 Hz. The study showed that FEM can predict breast displacement with sufficient accuracy and thereby provide the basis by which bras may be engineered more ergonomically in the future.

Practitioner Summary: To facilitate a theoretical analysis of breast motion to enable the design of more supportive bras, a dynamic FEM based on reliable non-linear properties of breast tissues has been developed. The methods and findings have potential widespread benefit for developing new products to promote women's health and comfort.
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Keywords: breast; dynamic; finite element; hyper-elastic behaviour; large deformation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Mechanical Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, PR China 2: Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong 3: Apparel and Art Design College, Xi'an Polytechnic University, Xi'an, China 4: Industrial Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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