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Compressive mechanical properties of dry antler cortical bone cylinders from different cervidae species

  • Picavet, Pierre
  • Claeys, Stéphanie
  • Rondia, Etienne
  • Balligand, Marc
Publication Date
Feb 04, 2024
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peer reviewed / Antlers are bony structures composed predominantly of primary osteons with unique mechanical properties due to their specific use by deer as weapon and shield. Antler bone fracture resistance has attracted prior scrutiny through experimental tests and theoretical models. To characterize antler mechanical properties, compression of cubes, or bending or tensioning of rectangular bars have been performed in the literature with variations in the protocols precluding comparisons of the data. Compression testing is a widely used experimental technique for determining the mechanical properties of specimens excised from cortical or cancellous regions of bone. However, the recommended geometry for compression tests is the cylinder, being more representative of the real performances of the material. The purpose of research was to report data for compressive strength and stiffness of antler cortical bone following current guidelines. Cylinders (n = 296) of dry antler cortical bone from either the main beam or the tines of Cervus elaphus, Rangifer tarandus, Cervus nippon and Damadama were tested. This study highlights the fact that compression of antler cortical bone cylinders following current guidelines is feasible but not applicable in all species. Standardization of the testing protocols could help to compare data from the literature. This study also confirms that sample localization has no effect on the mechanical properties, that sample density has a significant impact and allows enriching the knowledge of the mechanical properties of dry antler cortical bone.

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