Frictional Heating of PEEK-UHMWPE Bearing Couple on Pin-on-disk Tester

    • Reference:
    • Bayal, D. "Frictional Heating of PEEK-UHMWPE Bearing Couple on Pin-on-disk Tester." Transactions of the First International PEEK Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, April 25-26, 2013.
    • Keywords:
    • Pin-On-Disk Testing, Heating due to Articulation
    • Permissions:
    • This presentation is available with the permission of Dr. Bayal and his co-authors.

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Poly(aryl-ether-ether-ketone) (PEEK), which has been successfully employed in spinal implants and femoral stems, is also considered for use as a bearing material in other types of orthopedic bearings (e.g., THA or TKA). Although earlier studies focused on carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK articulating against ceramic and CoCr counterfaces, all-polymer bearings involving PEEK are also being considered. Since PEEK has a low coefficient of conductivity, heat generated during articulation may not easily dissipate leading to elevated temperature at the bearing surfaces possibly resulting in protein precipitation in the lubricant. These precipitates may produce transfer film on articulating surfaces and result in misleading wear test results in vitro.

Heat generated during elliptical Pin-on-disk articulation of UHMWPE-PEEK and UHMWPE-CoCr bearing couples, lubricated by either bovine serum or water on a Pin-on-disk, was characterized using an approach previously investigated for TKA by Lu and McKellop. We hypothesized that, at steady state, heat generated by articulation would not differ between UHMWPE-PEEK and UHMWPE-CoCr bearing couples. We also hypothesized that the coefficient of friction at steady state would be similar for both bearing couples when lubricated by either bovine serum or water.