The impaction force required to assemble the head and stem components of hip implants is proven to play a major role in the mechanics of the taper junction. However, it is not clear if the assembly force could have an effect on fretting wear, which normally occurs at the junction. In this study, an adaptive finite element model was developed for a CoCr/CoCr head-neck junction with an angular mismatch of 0.01° in order to simulate the fretting wear process and predict the material loss under various assembly forces and over a high number of gait cycles. The junction was assembled with 2, 3, 4, and 5 kN and then subjected to 1,025,000 cycles of normal walking gait loading. The findings showed that material removal due to fretting wear increased when raising the assembly force. High assembly forces induced greater contact pressures over larger contact regions at the interface, which, in turn, resulted in more material loss and wear damage to the surface when compared to lower assembly forces. Although a high assembly force (greater than 4 kN) can further improve the initial strength and stability of the taper junction, it appears that it also increases the degree of fretting wear. Further studies are needed to investigate the assembly force in the other taper designs, angular mismatches, and material combinations.
Bibliographical note'This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited'
- fretting wear
- assembly force
- material loss
- modular hip implants