Author(s): Galvin A, Brockett C, Williams S, Hatto P, Burton A,
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Abstract Alumina ceramic heads have been previously shown to reduce polyethylene wear in comparison to cobalt chrome (CoCr) heads in artificial hip joints. However, there are concerns about the brittle nature of ceramics. It is therefore of interest to investigate ceramic-like coatings on metallic heads. The aim of this study was to compare the friction and wear of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) against alumina ceramic, CoCr, and surface-engineered ceramic-like coatings in a friction simulator and a hip joint simulator. All femoral heads tested were 28 mm diameter and included: Biolox Forte alumina, CoCr, arc evaporative physical vapour deposition (AEPVD) chromium nitride (CrN) coated CoCr, plasma-assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) amorphous diamond-like carbon (aDLC) coated CoCr, sputter CrN coated CoCr, reactive gas controlled arc (RGCA) AEPVD titanium nitride (TiN) coated CoCr, and Graphit-iC coated CoCr. These were articulated against UHMWPE acetabular cups in a friction simulator and a hip joint simulator. Alumina and CoCr gave the lowest wear volumes whereas the sputter coated CrN gave the highest. Alumina also had the lowest friction factor. There was an association between surface parameters and wear. This study indicates that surface topography of surface-engineered femoral heads is more important than friction and wettability in controlling UHMWPE wear.
This article was published in Proc Inst Mech Eng H
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science