Mechanical characterization of prosthetic feet using a prosthetic foot loading apparatus

Michel Sam, Andrew H. Hansen, Dudley S. Childress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A Prosthetic Foot Loading Apparatus (PFLA) was modified and improved to measure the mechanical properties of different prosthetic feet. In this paper the properties of a SACH foot and a Flexwalk foot are examined to demonstrate application of the device. Roll-over shape of the feet was determined using a shank-based coordinate system. Damping ratios (ζ= 0.064 for SACH and ζ= 0.028 for Flexwalk) and resonant frequencies (ωn = 5.46 Hz for SACH and ωn = 2.90 Hz for Flexwalk) were also obtained. Roll-over shapes and damping ratios influence foot performance during walking. The PFLA is valuable for determining mechanical properties of commercially available prosthetic feet and as well as for evaluating design prototypes for new prosthetic feet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1968-1971
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Dynamic testing
  • Foot loading
  • Prosthetic feet
  • Prosthetic foot mechanics
  • Roll-over shapes


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