The stiffness characteristics of plastic ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are studied through finite element modelling and stress analysis. Particular attention is given to the modelling and prediction of non-linear AFO behaviour, which has been frequently observed in previous experimental studies but not fully addressed analytically. Both large deformation effects and material non-linearity are included in the formulation and their individual influence on results assessed. The finite element program is subsequently applied to the simulation of a series of tests designed to investigate the relation between AFO trimline location and stiffness for moderate and large rotations. Through careful consideration and identification of key modelling parameters, the developed finite element solution proves to be a reliable and effective alternative means of assessing variations of a typical plastic AFO design so that particular patient requirements could be met, in the long ter
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