The authors investigated the viability of UHMWPE composites for use in orthopaedic bearing applications as an alternative to crosslinking. Two composite systems were used, both based on a UHMWPE matrix: PtZr quasicrystals and Zr particle fillers. Through wear testing and impact toughness measurement it was shown that these two fillers produced composites that had high wear resistance and more impact toughness than the crosslinked polymer. These results suggest that further investigation into the use of composites for implant bearing surfaces is warranted and that appropriate criteria for filler materials must be developed to spur development of longer-lasting devices.

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