The fatigue behavior of hip prostheses made from laminated fiber-reinforced polymeric composite material under biaxial loading was investigated. Two types of prototype specimens with different layups were cyclically tested at several different load levels. X-ray radiography and surface replication were used to record fatigue damage development in the specimens tested. Internal damage features were also examined after sectioning of selected specimens. Damage mechanisms in the composite prostheses are discussed in association with results of the nondestructive and destructive tests. A life prediction model that is capable of predicting the residual strength and life of a composite prosthesis was developed based on a critical-element model for composite laminates. An example is provided to illustrate the application of the life prediction model.
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