Background: The occurrence of multi-directional sliding motion between total knee replacement bearing surfaces is theorized to be a primary wear and failure mechanism of ultra-high molecular weight poly(ethylene) (UHMWPE). To better quantify the tribologic mechanisms of this cross-shear wear, the MAX-Shear wear-testing system was developed to evaluate candidate biomaterials under controlled conditions of cross-shear wear. Method of approach: A computer controlled traveling x-y stage under a 3 degree-of-freedom statically loaded pin is used to implement the complex multi-directional motion pathways observed during TKR wear simulation. A MHz collection of dynamic x-y friction was available on all six environmentally controlled stations. The functionality of this testing platform was proven in a 100,000 cycle, 11.6 MPa, wear test using 15.0 mm diameter polished stainless steel spheres against flat GUR4150 UHMWPE. A five-pointed star wear pattern was used to incorporate the physiologically relevant cross-shear sliding conditions of stop/start, entraining velocity and five crossing angles of 72°. Using normalized volumetric reconstruction of the resulting surface damage, a direct quantitative relationship between linear and cross-shear surface damage intensity was obtained. Results: Cross-shear surface damage volume loss was found to be 2.94 times that associated with linear sliding under identical tribologic conditions. SEM analysis of linear wear damage showed consistent fibril orientation along the direction of sliding while cross-shear wear damage showed multi-directional fibril orientations and increased surface roughness. Significant increases in discrete crossing-point friction coefficients were recorded throughout testing. Conclusions: This scientific approach to quantifying the tribologic effects of cross-shear provides fundamental wear mechanism data that are critical in evaluating potential biomaterials for use as in vivo bearings. Relevant multi-axis, cross-shear wear testing is necessary to provide quantifiable measures of complex biomaterials wear phenomena.
The Quantification of Physiologically Relevant Cross-Shear Wear Phenomena on Orthopaedic Bearing Materials Using the MAX-Shear Wear Testing System
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Gevaert, M. R., LaBerge, M., Gordon, J. M., and DesJardins, J. D. (June 1, 2005). "The Quantification of Physiologically Relevant Cross-Shear Wear Phenomena on Orthopaedic Bearing Materials Using the MAX-Shear Wear Testing System." ASME. J. Tribol. October 2005; 127(4): 740–749. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2000272
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