The Role of the Assembly Force in the Tribocorrosion Behaviour of Hip Implant Head-Neck Junctions: An Adaptive Finite Element Approach

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Abstract

The cyclic loading, in the corrosive medium of the human body, results in tribocorrosion at the interface of the head-neck taper junction of hip implants. The resulting metal ions and wear debris adversely affect the local tissues. The force applied by surgeons to assemble the junction has proven to play a major role in the mechanics of the taper junction which, in turn, can influence the tribocorrosion damage. Recently, finite element method has been used to predict the material loss at the head-neck interface. However, in most finite element studies, the contribution of electrochemical corrosion has been ignored. Therefore, a detailed study to investigate the influence of the assembly force on the tribocorrosive behaviour of the head-neck junction, which considers both the mechanical and chemical material removal, is of paramount interest. In this study, a finite-element-based algorithm was used to investigate the effect of assembly force on the tribocorrosion damage at the junction interface, for over four million cycles of simulated level gait. The patterns of the material removal in the modelling results were compared with the damage patterns observed in a group of retrieved modular hip implants. The results of this study showed that for different cases, chemical wear was in the range of 25–50% of the total material loss, after four million cycles. A minimum assembly force (4 kN for the studied cases) was needed to maintain the interlock in the junction. The computational model was able to predict the damage pattern at the retrieved head-neck interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number629
Number of pages16
JournalBioengineering
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Assembly force
  • finite element
  • fretting corrosion
  • hip implants
  • material loss
  • metallic interface
  • tribocorrosion

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