Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1993

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

R. S. Sodhi

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Clarence W. Mayott


This project investigates the effect of sliding motion on the materials that are used as bearing surfaces of human total-joint replacement prostheses.

The tests are performed with a specially designed equipment based on pin-on-disk machine. The testing machine is designed and constructed to reproduce sliding motion, applied to spherical ended metal "Canine-Head" components such as dog hip acting on a flat polyethylene surface. The sliding motion is performed by applying different constant loads for 5,000,000 cycles. The tests are carried out with the wear specimen lubricated by deionized water.

The purpose is to produce delamination, which is the severe wear condition in Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), the material used for the articulating surfaces in orthopedics under sliding motion. Scratching and deformation are found to be the most prominent forms of surface damage present. No evidence of delamination is seen in either of the two sets of tests.