Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    An Investigation into Scalpel Blade Sharpness Using Cutting Experiments and Finite Element Analysis
    (Trans Tech Publications, 2005-09-15) ; ;
    This paper presents an investigation into the sharpness of a surgical scalpel blade. An experiment was carried out in which a surgical scalpel blade was pushed through an elastomeric substrate at a constant velocity. The force-displacement characteristics were examined by plotting the stiffness as a function of blade displacement and it was found that this curve could clearly identify the point where the material separates to form a cut. A blade sharpness measurement was defined as the energy required to initiate an opening or cut in the substrate. A finite element model was developed to examine the stress state in the substrate at the point where the opening initiates. The development of this model is described. The model was validated against the experiment and close agreement was obtained. The von-Mises stress distribution under the blade tip was plotted and it was shown that the peak stress actually occurs away from the blade tip, suggesting that material separation would initiate away from the substrate surface.
  • Publication
    On the sharpness of straight edge blades in cutting soft solids: Part I – indentation experiments
    The sharpness of a blade is a key parameter in cutting soft solids, such as biological tissues, foodstuffs or elastomeric materials. It has a first order effect on the effort, and hence energy needed to cut, the quality of the cut surface and the life of the cutting instrument. To date, there is no standard definition, measurement or protocol to quantify blade sharpness. This paper derives a quantitative index of blade sharpness via indentation experiments in which elastomeric materials are cut using both sharp and blunt straight edge blades. It is found that the depth of blade indentation required to initiate a cut or crack in the target material is a function of the condition or sharpness of the blade’s cutting edge, and this property is used to formulate a so-called “blade sharpness index” (BSI). It is shown theoretically that this index is zero for an infinitely sharp blade and increases in a quadratic manner for increasing bluntness. For the blades tested herein, the sharpness index was found to vary between 0.2 for sharp blades and 0.5 for blunt blades, respectively. To examine the suitability of the index in other cutting configurations, experiments are performed using different blade types, target materials and cutting rates and it is found that the index is independent of the target material and cutting rate and thus pertains to the blade only. In the companion Part II to this paper a finite element model is developed to examine the effect of blade geometry on the sharpness index derived herein.
      2372Scopus© Citations 128