The Wear of High Molecular Weight Polyethylene—Part I: The Wear of Isotropic Polyethylene Against Dry Stainless Steel in Unidirectional Motion

[+] Author and Article Information
J. R. Atkinson

Department of Metallurgy, The University of Leeds, Leeds, England

K. J. Brown

Advanced Projects Group, BOC Ltd., Crawley, Sussex, England

D. Dowson

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds, Leeds, England

J. of Lubrication Tech 100(2), 208-218 (Apr 01, 1978) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3453143 History: Received May 26, 1977; Revised November 28, 1977; Online October 20, 2010


The wear of surgical grade ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene against stainless steel has been studied for unidirectional motion. After a short wearing-in period, two distinct steady-state regions appear on the wear graphs. In the first section adhesion is the predominant wear mechanism and a transfer film of polymer builds up on the steel counterface. After a certain sliding distance, determined by the load, the adhesive mechanism is augmented by fatigue wear and the wear rate increases sharply and remains constant at the new value.

Copyright © 1978 by ASME
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