Case Study: Flexible, durable DuPont™ Hytrel® key to new Niagara Foot™ prosthetic foot design
The Niagara Foot™ is a new, affordable, high-performance prosthetic foot intended for active individuals who have been victims of landmines. A key aspect of its design lies in its keel – a single, S-shaped part, injection-moulded from DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer, which acts like a spring to provide energy storage and return during the gait cycle.
The Niagara Foot™ is designed specifically for individuals with active lifestyles and those who walk on rugged ground.
Its novel, energy-return design relies on the stiff, yet flexible properties of DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer to provide user benefits in terms of stability, effectiveness and comfort.
According to its designer and manufacturer, the energy-return principle incorporated into the design of the Niagara Foot allows the user to walk more naturally than conventional designs.
Moreover, patients are able to detect and appreciate the performance of this device, which decreases the muscular effort required for walking.
Materials Selected and Why
DuPont™ Hytrel® 8238 was chosen by Niagara Prosthetics due to its combination of low flex fatigue and high stress resistance, which helps ensure the foot meets, or surpasses, standards for high-loading conditions such as running, walking or jumping.
This particular grade of Hytrel® is able to store and release energy, mimicking the natural movement of the ankle complex, in over two million cycles.
Despite the abnormally thick wall sections required by the design, Hytrel® flows easily to produce a well-packed part without voids - essential for achieving flex fatigue resistance.
Niagara Prosthetics & Orthotics International Ltd.
547 Glenridge Avenue,
Canada L2T 4C2
Contact: Robert Gabourie CPO
Tel.: +1 905-688-2553