A set of protocols was created to characterize prosthetic liners across six clinically relevant material properties. Properties included compressive elasticity, shear elasticity, tensile elasticity, volumetric elasticity, coefficient of friction (CoF), and thermal conductivity. Eighteen prosthetic liners representing the diverse range of commercial products were evaluated to create test procedures that maximized repeatability, minimized error, and provided clinically meaningful results. Shear and tensile elasticity test designs were augmented with finite element analysis (FEA) to optimize specimen geometries. Results showed that because of the wide range of available liner products, the compressive elasticity and tensile elasticity tests required two test maxima; samples were tested until they met either a strain-based or a stress-based maximum, whichever was reached first. The shear and tensile elasticity tests required that no cyclic conditioning be conducted because of limited endurance of the mounting adhesive with some liner materials. The coefficient of friction test was based on dynamic coefficient of friction, as it proved to be a more reliable measurement than static coefficient of friction. The volumetric elasticity test required that air be released beneath samples in the test chamber before testing. The thermal conductivity test best reflected the clinical environment when thermal grease was omitted and when liner samples were placed under pressure consistent with load bearing conditions. The developed procedures provide a standardized approach for evaluating liner products in the prosthetics industry. Test results can be used to improve clinical selection of liners for individual patients and guide development of new liner products.

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