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RESEARCH PAPERS

Contact Area as a Critical Determinant in the Tribology Of Metal-on-Polyethylene Total Joint Arthroplasty

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel Mazzucco

 Exponent® Failure Analysis Associates, 3401 Market St., Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104dmazzucco@exponent.com

Myron Spector

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital,  Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 and Tissue Engineering,  VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston Campus, Boston, MA 02130

J. Tribol 128(1), 113-121 (Jul 06, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2114930 History: Received March 02, 2004; Revised July 06, 2005

The effects of contact area and contact stress on friction and wear of polyethylene-metal articulation were evaluated using a bidirectional pin-on-disk apparatus. A doubling of the contact area under fixed loading conditions led to a 50% increase in the coefficient of friction and a doubling of the wear rate. There appeared to be a relationship between the increase in wear rate and the increase in the coefficient of friction. A model was developed to explain the mechanism by which engagement of asperities results in the increasing wear rate with increasing contact area despite the decreased stress.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Sample trace of coefficient of friction versus time

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Figure 3

Schematic of PE articulating on metal

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Figure 4

Schematic of Al (above) and Ar (below) in boundary lubrication of PE on metal

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Figure 6

Comparison of metal-PE (left) to metal-metal (right) articulation

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Figure 2

Friction versus number of cycles in the pilot experiment

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Figure 5

Schematic of PE-on-metal articulation showing deformation of the PE surface

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Figure 8

Schematic of PE-on-metal articulation under intermediate load

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Figure 7

Schematic of PE-on-metal articulation under low load

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Figure 9

Comparison of small (left) and large (right) PE pins articulating on metal

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Figure 10

Schematic of PE-on-metal articulation under high load

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