Title: Tribological characterisation of carbon nanotubes/ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene composites: the effect of sliding distance

Authors: S. Kanagaraj, M.T. Mathew, A. Fonseca, M.S.A. Oliveira, J.A.O. Simoes, L.A. Rocha

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati-781 039, Assam, India. ' Section of Tribology, Dept. of Ortho. Surgery, Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. ' CT2M, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Guimaraes, Portugal

Abstract: The tribological characterisation of metal-on-polymer (MOP) or ceramic-on-polymer (COP) couple is required to prevent osteolysis and loosening of the prosthesis which leads to subsequent failure of the implants. An attempt was made to enhance the tribological properties of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) by adding the carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The chemically treated CNTs were homogeneously mixed with UHMWPE using a ball milling process and the mixed raw materials were used to prepare a compression moulded sheet. Tribological characterisation of the test sample as a function of sliding distance was carried out in a tribometer using a ball on plate configuration. Different types of wear trend and friction coefficient were observed in polymer and nanocomposites. It was also observed that wear volume and wear coefficient decreases significantly with an addition of CNTs in the polymer and they follow a linear relation with sliding distance.

Keywords: nanocomposites; wear; sliding distance; ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene; UHMWPE; scanning electron microscopy; SEM; atomic force microscopy; AFM; CNT; friction coefficient; tribology; carbon nanotubes; nanotechnology; osteolysis; prosthesis loosening; implant failure; bioengineering; biomedical engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSURFSE.2010.035138

International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, 2010 Vol.4 No.4/5/6, pp.305 - 321

Published online: 09 Sep 2010 *

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