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Influence of the remelting process on the fatigue behavior of electron beam irradiated UHMWPE.

AuthorsPuértolas, J. A. CSIC; Medel, F. J. CSIC ORCID; Cegoñino, J.; Gómez-Barrena, E.; Ríos, Ricardo
Electron beam irradiation
Crack propagation
Issue Date13-Sep-2005
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials 76(2): 346-353 (2005)
AbstractElectron beam irradiation at doses below 150 kGy is a widely used technique to obtain highly crosslinked ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). Its current use in total joint replacement components may improve wear resistance and decrease UHMWPE particle debris. However, currently used post-irradiation thermal treatments, which aim to decrease the free radicals within the material, introduce microstructural changes that affect UHMWPE mechanical properties, particularly the fatigue strength. This influence may be crucial in total knee replacements, where fatigue-related damage limits the lifespan of the prosthesis. Therefore, more studies are required to understand UHMWPE fatigue after current crosslinking protocols. This study was planned to evaluate the influence of UHMWPE remelting after irradiation on the material fatigue resistance. The remelting was achieved at 150°C for 2 h on UHMWPE previously irradiated at 50, 100, and 150 kGy. Fatigue evaluation included short-term tests under cyclic tensile stress with zero load ratio, R = 0, and 1 Hz. In addition, stress-life testing was performed using 12% yield as the criterion for failure. Near-threshold fatigue crack propagation experiments were also performed at a frequency of 5 Hz, and crack length was measured in nonthermally treated and remelted irradiated UHMWPE. Crystallinity percentage was calculated from DSC measurements. The results pointed out that irradiation positively contributed to total life analysis, but the further remelting process decreased the flaw initiation resistance. On the other hand, both processes negatively affected the fatigue resistance of notched components. From a clinical point of view, the results suggest that the material fatigue behavior should be carefully studied in new UHMWPE to avoid changes related to material processing. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2006
Description8 pages, 5 tables, 5 figures.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbm.b.30378
Appears in Collections:(ICMA) Artículos
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