Author(s): Weisse B, Affolter C, Koller RE, Stutz A
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Abstract A proof test procedure for the rejection of defective ceramic hip ball heads in the production line is presented. The procedure consists of applying a load to each ceramic ball head. This load, being somewhat higher than the maximum physiological load, should not cause any damage in cases where the highly stressed areas are free of flaws. In this procedure, a polymer ring is positioned inside the ball head bore between a socket and the head of a tie bolt. Once the tie bolt is pulled downwards, the ring creates a radial pressure on the inner bore surface of the ball head. With an iterative approach based on finite element analysis, the proof test design was optimized in order to obtain a stress distribution in the ball head similar to that resulting in in vivo conditions. The calculated results were validated by strain gauge measurements performed on an assembled proof test apparatus. Several polymers were considered for the ring. Ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE grade RCH 1000) showed the best durability properties and lowest wear rates. The requirement to perform 1000 reruns without significant reduction of stress in the ball head was fulfilled. Although other proof test procedures for ceramic femoral heads already exist, the procedure presented in this article shows advantages concerning maintenance and operating costs.
This article was published in Proc Inst Mech Eng H
and referenced in Bioceramics Development and Applications