Static, Impact, and Fatigue Testing of Five Different Types of Electric Powered Wheelchairs

Megan Vitek, B.S.E., Rory Cooper, Ph.D., Andrew Rentschler, B.S., David Algood, B.S., William Ammer, B.S., Erik Wolf, B.S.

Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technologies
University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Slide 1
Static, Impact, and Fatigue Testing of Five Different Types of Electric Powered Wheelchairs

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Megan Vitek, B.S.E., Rory Cooper, Ph.D., Andrew Rentschler, B.S., David Algood, B.S., William Ammer, B.S., Erik Wolf, B.S.

Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technologies
University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Slide 2
Background

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Powered wheelchairs require dependability.

American National Standards (ANSI) and RESNA developed wheelchair standards.

Test for performance, safety, and dimensions.

Testing and passing of the standards is optional.

Powered wheelchairs must be reliable

Powered wheelchairs are typically used all hours of the day, every day of the year

A broken wheelchair can leave a user stranded for long periods of time while the wheelchair is being repaired.

ANSI/RESNA have developed 18 standards

Slide 3
Background

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Limited published data on results of the 18 standards.

Section 8: Static, Impact, and Fatigue Testing

Tests for durability during typical use.

Limited wheelchair comparison data on results of the standards is available

Section 8 is one of the standards, called static, impact, and fatigue testing

Static Test: involves applying a static force

Slide 4
Research Question

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Is there a difference in the results of the static, impact, and fatigue strength testing between five types of power wheelchairs?

Slide 5
Static Tests

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Impact Tests

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Fatigue Tests

Must complete 200,000 cycles without failure to pass this test.

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Slide 8
Fatigue Tests

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Must complete 6,666 cycles without a failure to pass this test.

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Slide 9
Methods

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Three wheelchairs of each type were tested.

Invacare Action Arrow Storm

Sunrise Medical Quickie P200

Everest & Jennings Lancer 2000

Permobil Chairman

Pride Healthcare Jazzy 1100

Tested for static, impact, and fatigue testing according to the ANSI/RESNA Standards

(Section 8).

These wheelchairs were purchased without the manufacturer’s knowledge.

A 100 kg dummy was used when required.

All wheelchairs were tested for static, impact, and fatigue testing according to the ANSI/RESNA Standards (Section 8).

100 kg dummy was used when required.

Failure of a test involved permanent damage, deformation, or an inability to operate the wheelchair.

Slide 10
Failure of Test

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Permanent damage,

Plastic Deformation, or

Inability to operate the wheelchair.

Slide 11
Results of Static Tests for Invacare

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Results of Static Tests for Quickie P200

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Sunrise Medical Quickie P200

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Results of Static Tests for Everest & Jennings

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Everest & Jennings Lancer 2000

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Typical lat/long impact and up/down footrest test failure

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Slide 16
Improvements in Footrest Design

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Slide 17
Everest & Jennings Lancer 2000

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Motor/gearbox failed the Double Drum test after 23,712 out of 200,000 cycles

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Slide 18
Results of Static Tests for Permobil

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Slide 19
Permobil Chairman

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2/3 Permobil wheelchairs failed the Curb Drop Test.

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Permobil Chairman

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Slide 21
Results of Static Tests for Pride Healthcare Jazzy 1100

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Slide 22
Discussion

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Design evaluations need to be made on:

The locking mechanism on Quickie armrests

The footrests on Everest & Jennings (already done)

The motor/gearbox on Everest & Jennings

The electric connectors on Permobil

Stronger and more durable wheelchairs tend to be more cost-effective and reliable.

Slide 23
Acknowledgements

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Paralyzed Veterans American

National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

Slide 24
Questions

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Slide 25
Definition of Failure of Tests

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Handgrips become displaced.

Any adjustable component becomes displaced.

All removable, folding, or adjustable parts are operable.

Any part deforms or free plays, so that it adversely affects function of wheelchair.

Slide 26
Definition of Failure of Tests

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A nut, bolt, etc. detaches after being tightened, adjusted, or refitted once.

An electrical connector displaces or disconnects.

Removable, folding, or adjustable parts are no longer operable.

Power operated systems do not operate normally.

The End

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Updated: February 28, 2002

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Please note: This information is provided a archival information from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility from 1993 to 2002.

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