Strength testing and analysis of the Freewheeler wheelchair.

Faculty Advisor

Ault, Holly K.

Faculty Advisor

Rencis, Joseph J.


The Freewheeler wheelchair was developed at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability for severely disabled individuals who require dependent mobility wheelchairs. In order to be certified for the public market, the wheelchair must pass a series of static, impact, and fatigue strength tests. Our goal was to determine the validity of the chair design and recommend possible action to prepare it for certification. First we designed a beam model of the Freewheeler using the finite element program Algor. Using this model, we conducted nine static and impact tests analytically. We then verified these tests experimentally using strain gages with the TTi Vips data-gathering application. Finally, we generated a list of critical stress areas. These results and recommendations provided critical information for the manufacturer and Hospital staff.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 1999




Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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