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Hydroxyapatite has been rubbed against ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene (UHMWPE) under calcium-containg aqueous solutions. Further, hardness tests were carried out in air and in calcium-containing solutions whose pH ranged from pH 5 to pH 9. Hardness was found to vary with pH with a peak at around pH 7, i.e. - a chemomechanical effect was observed. Wear tests consisted in sliding hydroxyapatite samples against a UHMWPE disk for eight hours when lubricated by the same solutions as those used for the hardness tests. Volume loss, pH and calcium concentration were measured for up to 8 hours of sliding. Linking wear tests results with hardness results and supersaturation levels, it was concluded that two wear mechanisms occurred. A chemical mechanism depending on supersaturation occurred at the early stages of sliding. The wear rate was essentially independent of hardness during this stage. After a few hours, depending on the supersaturation of the lubricant, the chemical mechanism turned into a chemomechanical mechanism dependant on hardness.


Journal article


Biomed Mater Eng

Publication Date





283 - 292


Biocompatible Materials, Biomechanical Phenomena, Drug Interactions, Durapatite, Equipment Failure Analysis, Hardness Tests, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Lubrication, Materials Testing, Polyethylenes, Time Factors