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Open AccessArticle

Ageing, Shocks and Wear Mechanisms in ZTA and the Long-Term Performance of Hip Joint Materials

CIS-EMSE, SAINBIOSE, INSERM U1059, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne, F-42023 Saint-Etienne, Univ Lyon, F-69,000 Lyon, France
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
MATEIS, UMR CNRS 5510, Univ Lyon, INSA-Lyon, 20 Avenue Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne, France
Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, UMR CNRS 5276, Univ Lyon, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 46 Allée d’Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologie, CHU Saint-Etienne, Avenue Albert Raimond, 42270 Saint-Priest-en-Jarez, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Saverio Affatato
Materials 2017, 10(6), 569;
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
The surface morphologies and microstructures of Zirconia Toughened Alumina (ZTA) femoral heads were analyzed following in vitro tests aiming to simulate in vivo degradation. Three phenomena potentially leading to degradation were investigated: shocks, friction and hydrothermal ageing. Shocks due to micro-separation created the main damage with the formation of wear stripes on the femoral head surfaces. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images suggested the release of wear debris of various shapes and sizes through inter- and intra-granular cracks; some debris may have a size lower than 100 nm. A decrease in hardness and Young’s modulus was measured within the wear stripes by nanoindentation technique and was attributed to the presence of surface and sub-surface micro-cracks. Such micro-cracks mechanically triggered the zirconia phase transformation in those worn areas, which in return presumably reduced further crack propagation. In comparison with shocks, friction caused little wear degradation as observed from AFM images by scarce pullout of grains. The long-term resistance of the ZTA composite material against hydrothermal ageing is confirmed by the present observations. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceramics; shocks; wear; hip implants; nanoindentation; zirconia phase transformation ceramics; shocks; wear; hip implants; nanoindentation; zirconia phase transformation
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Perrichon, A.; Liu, B.H.; Chevalier, J.; Gremillard, L.; Reynard, B.; Farizon, F.; Liao, J.-D.; Geringer, J. Ageing, Shocks and Wear Mechanisms in ZTA and the Long-Term Performance of Hip Joint Materials. Materials 2017, 10, 569.

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