Analysis of the stress distribution in female breasts as a function of their size

Bessorah Rubenstein Vered & Dana Solav

Studies have shown that ill-fitting bras and insufficient breast support can lead to the development of musculoskeletal pain and inhibit women from participating in physical activity. However, most women are unable to properly fit a bra for themselves. Additionally, monthly hormonal fluctuations during various stages of the menstrual cycle cause the breast volume to fluctuate by up to 40%. Therefore, there is a need for a change in the way we design bras, which first requires proper understanding of the relationships between the forces exerted on the breasts, their size, and the resulting stress distribution. Using FEA, we simulate the stresses and strains on the breasts as a function of their size, both under the static influence of gravity and during dynamic gait movement, and analyze them in order to come up with solutions for improved bra designs and fitting methods.

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