A combined experimental and finite element approach to analyse the fretting mechanism of the head-stem taper junction in total hip replacement

Thom Bitter*, Imran Khan, Tim Marriott, Elaine Lovelady, Nico Verdonschot, Dennis Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Fretting corrosion at the taper interface of modular hip implants has been implicated as a possible cause of implant failure. This study was set up to gain more insight in the taper mechanics that lead to fretting corrosion. The objectives of this study therefore were (1) to select experimental loading conditions to reproduce clinically relevant fretting corrosion features observed in retrieved components, (2) to develop a finite element model consistent with the fretting experiments and (3) to apply more complicated loading conditions of activities of daily living to the finite element model to study the taper mechanics. The experiments showed similar wear patterns on the taper surface as observed in retrievals. The finite element wear score based on Archard's law did not correlate well with the amount of material loss measured in the experiments. However, similar patterns were observed between the simulated micromotions and the experimental wear measurements. Although the finite element model could not be validated, the loading conditions based on activities of daily living demonstrate the importance of assembly load on the wear potential. These findings suggest that finite element models that do not incorporate geometry updates to account for wear loss may not be appropriate to predict wear volumes of taper connections.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)862-870
    Number of pages9
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H: Journal of engineering in medicine
    Volume231
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

    Keywords

    • finite element modelling
    • Fretting
    • taper junction
    • total hip arthroplasty
    • wear modelling
    • wear testing

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