The abrasion damage on retrieved CoCrMo based hip joints is reported to be influenced by the entrainment of micron and sub-micron sized debris/hard particles. This paper represents the first attempt to look into the effects of relatively soft abrasives with micron and sub-micron dimensions on the abrasion mechanisms and the abrasion-corrosion performance of the cast CoCrMo in simulated hip joint environments. A modified micro-abrasion tester incorporating a liquid tank and a three-electrode electrochemical cell was used. Al O (300 nm and 1 μm) and sub-micron sized BaSO abrasives were chosen as being comparable in the size and hardness to the wear particles found in vivo. Results show that the specific wear rates of cast CoCrMo are dependent on the abrasive particle size, hardness and volume concentration. Larger particle size, higher hardness and greater abrasive volume fractions gave greater wear rates. The wear-induced corrosion current generally increases with increasing wear rates, and the presence of proteins seems to suppress the wear-induced corrosion current especially when abrasive volume fractions were high. This study shows that the nature of abrasives and the test solutions are both important in determining the wear mechanisms and the abrasion-corrosion response of cast CoCrMo. These findings provide new and important insights into the in vivo wear mechanisms of CoCrMo.
Sun, D., Wharton, J. A., & Wood, R. J. K. (2009). Micro-abrasion-corrosion of cast CoCrMo-Effects of micron and sub-micron sized abrasives. Wear, 267(1-4), 52-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wear.2009.01.011