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Wear of Highly Crystalline Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene

[+] Author Affiliations
Douglas W. Van Citters, Ashley E. Levack, Francis E. Kennedy

Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Paper No. IJTC2008-71175, pp. 135-137; 3 pages
  • STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference
  • STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference
  • Miami, Florida, USA, October 20–22, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Tribology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4336-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3837-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Highly crystalline ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has historically experienced little success as a bearing material in total joint arthroplasty due to oxidation related fatigue failures. Recent sterilization and treatment advances have reduced or eliminated the risk of oxidation, allowing for a renewed interest in this particular material. The current study investigates the wear resistance of a highly crystalline UHMWPE in comparison to clinically relevant control materials. The highly crystalline material exhibits a wear rate superior to never irradiated material, and similar to irradiated material. The wear rate reduction is attributed to the larger crystallites’ ability to slow subsurface crack growth.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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