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Numerical Simulation of Bone Plate with Fatigue Crack and Investigation of Attraction Hole for Retarding Crack Growth

Zhonghang Zhao, Aimin Ji*, Changsheng Chen
College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Hohai University, Changzhou, 213022, China
* Corresponding Author: Aimin Ji. Email:

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2021, 18(4), 173-185.

Received 19 February 2021; Accepted 25 August 2021; Issue published 27 October 2021


Premature fracture of the bone plate caused by fatigue crack is the main failure mode in treating femoral shaft fracture. In order to improve the durability of the plate, this study proposed a crack attraction hole (CAH) to retard the crack propagation based on the fracture mechanics. In this paper, a numerical model of the femoral fracture internal fixation system was constructed, in which the femur was developed using a validated simplified model. First, the fatigue crack initiation location was defined at the stress concentration through static analysis. Next, with the joint simulation method of Franc3D and ABAQUS, the fatigue crack path in the bone plate was predicted. Meanwhile, the Paris parameters of Ti-6Al-4V obtained through experiments were encoded into Franc3D to calculate the crack propagation life. Finally, we considered the influence of CAH designs with different relative vertical distances (2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 mm) and diameters (1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 mm) on the crack propagation path and life of the bone plate. Additionally, the effects of all CAH configurations on the biomechanical performance of the bone plate fixation system were evaluated. The results indicated that the fatigue crack growth path in the bone plate is comparable to a straight line, and the crack growth rate significantly increases when the crack tip reaches the outer boundary of the plate. The findings suggest that the addition of CAH in the bone plate will lead to the deflection of the crack path and increase the fatigue life. Equally important, the improvement of the fatigue life was positively correlated with the diameter of CAH and negatively correlated with the relative vertical distance. In addition, the biomechanical properties of the bone plate system were slightly affected by CAH, substantiating the feasibility of this method. Finally, the comparative analysis verified that a CAH with a relative vertical distance of 3 mm and a diameter of 2 mm exhibited superior improvement in the comprehensive performance on the bone plate.


Bone plate; fatigue; crack propagation; fatigue life; femur fracture

Cite This Article

Zhao, Z., Ji, A., Chen, C. (2021). Numerical Simulation of Bone Plate with Fatigue Crack and Investigation of Attraction Hole for Retarding Crack Growth. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 18(4), 173–185.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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