Author(s): Sinnott MM, Hoeppner DW, Romney E, Dew PA
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Abstract It has been known for some time that surface integrity has an effect on the fatigue life of metals and "brittle" polymers. In cardiovascular applications of polymeric materials, emphasis is placed on elastomers having extended flexure lifetimes (i.e., fatigue life). The effect of surface integrity on the performance properties of Biomer (Ethicon, Inc, Somerville, NJ) a segmented polyurethane used in many blood contacting devices, is being investigated using uniaxial tensile tests in air at room temperature, and biaxial fatigue tests in deionized water at body temperature. Tensile tests were done using ASTM-D-882: Standard Test Methods for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting. No significant differences were noted in the stress-strain curves for specimens with various surface finishes. Fatigue tests were performed using an apparatus developed to allow for the exposure of thin-sheet polymer specimens to fluid at body temperature, while being biaxially strained. Because no standard test method was available, a test protocol was developed with reference to ASTM-D-671-78: Standard Test Methods for the Flexural Fatigue of Plastics by Constant Amplitude of Force. Stress versus life cycle data for specimens with differing surface finishes are being collected. Results to date suggest fatigue life of thin flexing membranes will decrease with increasing order of surface roughness, and fatigue properties are more sensitive to effects of changes in surface integrity than tensile properties measured by monotonic loading.
This article was published in ASAIO Trans
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine