Comparison of Durability and Cost-Effectiveness between Aluminum and Titanium Ultralight Rigid Frame Manual Wheelchairs

Hsin-yi Liu, Jon Pearlman, Eun-kyoung Hong, Ben Salatin, Hongwu Wang, Rosemarie Cooper, Rory A. Cooper

Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh PA Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh


The quality of a wheelchair is always considered when consumers are selecting wheelchairs. This study compared the dimensions, weight, fatigue life, and value between the aluminum and titanium ultralight rigid wheelchairs. The results show that the two groups of wheelchairs had similar dimensions and weight. There was no significant difference in the fatigue life and value between the two groups, but there were significant differences in the fatigue life and values when compared among models of the aluminum frame wheelchairs. Consumers should be aware that the characteristics of each model may impact the durability of a wheelchair.


durability, fatigue life, standardized tests, ultralight wheelchair


The authors thank for the help and generosity from all faculty, staff, and colleagues in the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. This research was supported by VA-RR&D grant # B3142C.