The Frictional Behavior of Human Synovial Joints—Part I: Natural Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Unsworth

The Arthritis and Rheumatism Council, Bioengineering Group for the Study of Human Joints, Leeds University, Leeds, England

D. Dowson, V. Wright

Bioengineering Group for the Study of Human Joints, Leeds University, Leeds, England

J. of Lubrication Tech 97(3), 369-376 (Jul 01, 1975) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3452605 History: Received June 25, 1974; Online October 18, 2010


Some theoretical consideration has been given to the use of pendulum machines when used to examine the frictional properties of human joints by incorporating them as fulcra. As a result, a new type of pendulum machine has been built which incorporates the facility to apply sudden loads to the joint on starting the swinging motion, and also the ability to measure directly the frictional torque experienced by the joint. The results obtained from natural hip joints (reported in Part I) indicate the presence of squeeze film lubrication under conditions of sudden loading. In addition, a self-generated fluid film process was observed at low loads whilst at high loads boundary lubrication appeared to be important. Artificial joints (Part II) are shown to exhibit similar lubrication properties to the natural joints but with a higher absolute value of friction. The metal on plastic type of joint is shown to exhibit a creeplike phenomenon which recovers with time.

Copyright © 1975 by ASME
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