Ring stent bundles have been used in several biomedical stent-graft devices for decades, yet in the published literature, the numerical models of these structures always present significant simplifications. In this paper, a finite element (FE) ring stent bundle has been developed and evaluated with a combination of beam and surface elements. With this approach, the shape, the global stiffness and the strains of the structure can all be well predicted at a low computational cost while the approach is suitable for application to non-symmetrical, patient-specific implant simulations. The model has been validated against analytical and experimental data showing that the manufacturing strains can be predicted to a 0.1% accuracy and the structural stiffness with 0–7% precision. The model has also been compared with a more computationally expensive FE model of higher fidelity, revealing a discrepancy of 0–5% of the strain value. Finally, it has been shown that the exclusion of the manufacturing process from the simulation, a technique used in the literature, quadruples the analysis error. This is the first model that can capture the mechanical state of a full ring stent bundle, suitable for complex implant geometry simulations, with such accuracy.
- finite element analysis
- ring bundle