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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

First Advisor

Gopal Jayaraman


Scaphoid is one of the 8 carpal bones found adjacent to the thumb supported proximally by Radius bone. During the free fall, on outstretched hand, the impact load gets transferred to the scaphoid at its free anterior end. Unique arrangement of other carpal bones in the palm is also one of the reasons for the load to get transferred to scaphoid. About half of the total load acting upon carpal bone gets transferred to scaphoid at its distal pole. There are about 10 to 12 clinically observed fracture pattern in the scaphoid due to free fall.

The aim of the study is to determine the orientation of the load, magnitude of the load and the corresponding fracture pattern. This study includes both static and dynamic finite element models validated by experiments. The scaphoid model has been prepared from CT scans of a 27 year old person. The 2D slices of the CT scans have been converted to 3D model by using MIMICS software. There are four cases of loading studied which are considered to occur clinically more frequently. In case (i) the load is applied at the posterior end at distal pole whereas in case (ii), (iii) and (iv), the load is applied at anterior end at different directions. The model is given a fixed boundary condition at the region which is supported by Radius bone during the impact. Same loading and boundary conditions have been used in both static and dynamic explicit finite element analysis. The site of fracture initiation and path of fracture propagation have been identified by using max principal stress / gradient and max principal strain / gradient criterion respectively in static and dynamic explicit finite element analysis.

Static and dynamic impact experiments were performed on the polyurethane foam specimens to validate the finite element results. Experimental results such as load at fracture, site of fracture initiation and path of fracture propagation have been compared with the results of finite element analysis. Four different types of fracture patterns observed in clinical studies have been identified in this study.