Numerical Model of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Abrasive Wear Tests
Published: 1 January 2020
Modeling and Numerical Simulation of Material Science , Volume 10, pp 1-14; doi:10.4236/mnsms.2020.101001
Abstract: Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been used in orthopedics as one of the materials for artificial joints in knee, hip and spine prostheses, most of the implanted joints are designed so that the metal of the prosthesis is articulate against a polymeric material, however the main problems is the average life time of the UHMWPE due to wear, and the particles generated by the friction of the metal on the articulation of the polymer are the most common inducer of osteolysis, generating a loosening of the implant leading to an imminent failure resulting in the total replacement of the prosthesis. In this investigation a numerical model of abrasive wear was made using the classic Archard wear equation applied to dynamic simulation of finite element analysis (FEA) of the micro-abrasion test using a subroutine written in Fortran language linked to the finite element software to predict the rate of wear. The results of the numerical model were compared with tests of abrasive wear in the laboratory, obtaining a margin of error below 5%,concluding that the numerical model is feasible for the prediction of the rate of wear and could be applied in knowing the life cycle of joint prostheses or for the tribological analysis in industrial machinery or cutting tools. The wear coefficient (K) was obtained from the grinding tests depending on the depth of stroke of the crater, which was analyzed by 3D profilometry to obtain the wear rate and the wear constant.
Keywords: finite element / UHMWPE / abrasive wear / Numerical Wear Model
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