Effect of crosslinking UHMWPE on its tensile and compressive creep performance


The in vitro quasi-static tensile and compresssive creep properties of three sets of GUR 1050 ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) specimens were obtained. These sets were: control (as-received stock); "low-gamma" (specimens were crosslinked using γ radiation, with a minimum dose of 5 Mrad); and "high-gamma" (specimens were crosslinked using γ radiation, with a minimum dose of 15 Mrad). The % crystallinity (%C) and crosslink density (ρx) of the specimens in the three sets were also obtained. It was found that, in both tension and compression, crosslinking resulted in a significant depreciation in the creep properties, relative to control. The trend in the creep results is explained in terms of the impact of crosslinking on the polymer's %C and ρx. The present results are in contrast to literature reports that show that crosslinking enhances the wear resistance of the polymer. The implications of the present results, taken together with the aforementioned literature results, are fully discussed vis-a-vis the use of crosslinked UHMWPE for fabricating articular components for arthroplasties.

Publication Title

Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering

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