Experiments were conducted to measure geometrical and force-deformation properties of individual human ribs. These data are needed to enable studies to be made of the mechanical role of the rib cage in different situation.
Right ribs 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 were obtained at autopsy from each of 5 male cadavers. The head of each rib was fixed, and the antero-medial free end dead-wt loaded in three increments, in six directions. When subject to 0.75 kp loads, deflections of the order of 3 cm in the upper ribs and 6 cm in the lower ribs often occurred in the direction of the load. Deflections occurred in directions other than that of load application as well, and significant nonlinearities in load-deflection response were found.