Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 577–583 | Cite as

Wear characteristics of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)

  • A. El-Domiaty
  • M. El-Fadaly
  • A. Es. Nassef
Article

Abstract

The wear of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) bearing against 316 stainless steel or cobalt chromium (Co-Cr) alloy was measured using a 12-channel wear tester especially developed for the evaluation of candidate materials for prosthetic joints. The coefficient of friction and wear rate were determined as a function of lubricant, contact stress, and metallic surface roughness in tests lasting 2–3 million cycles, the equivalent of several years use of a prosthesis. Wear was determined by the weight loss of the polyethylene (PE) specimens corrected for the effect of fluid absorption. The friction and wear processes in blood serum differed markedly from those in saline solution or distilled water. Only serum lubrication produced wear surfaces resembling those observed on removed prostheses. The experimental methods provided accurate reproducible measurement of PE wear. The long-term wear rates were proportional to load and sliding distance. Although the PE wear rate increased with increasing surface roughness, wear was not severe except with very coarse metal surfaces. The data obtained in these studies formed a comparison basis for the subsequent evaluation of potentially superior materials for prosthetic joints.

Keywords

316 stainless steel friction and wear rate total joint replacement ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) 

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Copyright information

© ASM International 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. El-Domiaty
    • 1
  • M. El-Fadaly
    • 1
  • A. Es. Nassef
    • 1
  1. 1.Production Engineering and Mechanical Design DepartmentSuez Canal University, Faculty of EngineeringPort SaidEgypt

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