Testing setup for the investigation of bone fractures due to the impact of hockey pucks
Bone fractures, mostly of the lower leg and foot, due to impact with hockey pucks are becoming a common injury in ice hockey. These injuries can take up to more than two months to heal and return to play. In the professional levels of play, these injuries cost the team in more than one way. Firstly, a member of the team cannot play for some time and secondly the team may continue to pay the player their salary even though they are injured and not providing their full services to the team. These injuries do not appear to be researched at this time and the current equipment options do not appear to provide adequate protection to prevent injury. This work attempts to develop a testing setup, which is composed to several components, to investigate the minimum requirements that lead to these injuries. A puck-shooting machine was used to impact composite tibias and the velocity at which they fractured was recorded. Other components were designed, built, and selected to comprise the testing setup. The results obtained with the testing setup presented in this work provided valuable insight on these injuries. The composite tibias fractured at impact velocities ranging from 28.83 – 31.25 m/s. Puck orientation at impact was captured with high-speed video. Slight improvements in the testing setup and methodology could provide even more valuable information that could lead to improvements in protective devices designed to prevent these injuries.