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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Jun Jie Wu

Williams, S. R., Wu, J. J., Unsworth, A. & Khan, I. (2011). Wear and surface analysis of 38 mm ceramic-on-metal total hip replacements under standard and severe wear testing conditions. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 225(8): 783-796.

Author(s) from Durham


The purpose of this study was to compare the wear of zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) and alumina femoral heads tested against as-cast CoCrMo alloy acetabular cups under both standard and severe wear conditions. A new severe test, which included medio-lateral displacement of the head and rim impact upon relocation, was developed. This resulted in an area of metal transfer and an area of increased wear on the superior-anterior segment of the head that were thought to be due to dislocation and rim impact respectively. While the wear of all ceramic heads was immeasurable using the gravimetric method, the wear rates for the metallic cups from each test were readily calculated. An average steady state wear rate of 0.023 ± 0.005 mm3/106 cycles was found for the cups articulating against ZTA under standard wear conditions. A similar result had previously been obtained for the wear of cups articulated against alumina heads of the same size (within the same laboratory). Under severe wear conditions an increase in the metallic cup steady state wear rate was found with the ZTA and alumina tests giving 0.623 ± 0.252 and 1.35 ± 0.154 mm3/106 cycles respectively. Wear of the ceramic heads was detected using atomic force microscopy which showed, under severe wear conditions, a decrease in polishing marks and occasional grain removal. The surfaces of the ZTA heads tested under standard conditions were virtually unchanged from the unworn samples. Friction tests showed low friction factors for all components, pre and post wear.