Comparative study of the wear resistance of Al2O3-coated MA956 superalloy
Keywords:Wear, MA956, Alumina coating, UHMWPE
Preoxidation of the MA956 superalloy, proposed as a prosthetic biomaterial, generates a compact and inert a-alumina surface layer. The aim of this study is to assess the wear resistance provided by this alumina layer on the MA956 alloy in comparison with the same coated alloy and versus high density polyethylene. Comparative wear tests were carried out in both dry and wet conditions using the couples MA956/MA956, MA956/UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) and 316LVM/UHMWPE. The results corresponding to the couples MA956/MA956, with and without alumina layer, show that the load has more significant effect than the rotation speed on the weight loss and on the roughness. On the other hand the alumina surface layer provides a clear wear protection. The weight losses of the MA956 specimen in this couple are ten times lower when testing under wet conditions than under dry conditions. The MA956/UHMWPE couple behaves much better than the 316LVM/UHMWPE, as it presents the lowest values of friction coefíicient and weight losses of the MA956 specimen. These are only detectable after 70,000 cycles under a 70 MPa contact pressure. This couple offers the best guarantee of a prolonged service life for articulated parts in a prosthesis.
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