A Modeling Framework to Investigate the Radial Component of the Pushrim Force in Manual Wheelchair Propulsion
FEI University, Mechanical Engineering Department, Av. Humberto de A. C. Castelo Branco, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ratio of tangential to total pushrim force, the so-called Fraction Effective Force (FEF), has been used to evaluate wheelchair propulsion efficiency based on the fact that only the tangential component of the force on the pushrim contributes to actual wheelchair propulsion. Experimental studies, however, consistently show low FEF values and recent experimental as well as modelling investigations have conclusively shown that a more tangential pushrim force direction can lead to a decrease and not increase in propulsion efficiency. This study aims at quantifying the contributions of active, inertial and gravitational forces to the normal pushrim component. In order to achieve this goal, an inverse dynamics-based framework is proposed to estimate individual contributions to the pushrim forces using a model of the wheelchair-user system. The results show that the radial pushrim force component arise to a great extent due to purely mechanical effects, including inertial and gravitational forces. These results corroborate previous findings according to which radial pushrim force components are not necessarily a result of inefficient propulsion strategies or hand-rim friction requirements. This study proposes a novel framework to quantify the individual contributions of active, inertial and gravitational forces to pushrim forces during wheelchair propulsion.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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