Infoscience

Journal article

Tribo-electrochemical characterization of metallic biomaterials for total joint replacement

Knee and hip joint replacement implants involve a sliding contact between the femoral component and the tibial or acetabular component immersed in body fluids, thus making the metallic parts susceptible to tribocorrosion. Micro-motions occur at points of fixation leading to debris and ion release by fretting corrosion. beta-Titanium alloys are potential biomaterials for joint prostheses due to their biocompatibility and compatibility with the mechanical properties of bone. The biotribocorrosion behavior of Ti-29Nb-13Ta-4.6Zr was studied in Hank's balanced salt solution at open circuit potential and at an applied potential in the passive region. Reciprocating sliding tribocorrosion tests were carried out against technical grade ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, while fretting corrosion tests were carried out against alumina. The wear of the alloy is insignificant when sliding against polyethylene. However, depassivation does take place, but the tested alloy showed an ability to recover its passive state during sliding. The abrasivity of the alloy depends on the electrochemical conditions of the contact, while the wear of polyethylene proceeds through third body formation and material transfer. Under fretting corrosion conditions recovery of the passive state was also achieved. In a fretting contact wear of the alloy proceeds through plastic deformation of the bulk material and wear resistance depends on the electrochemical conditions. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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