화학공학소재연구정보센터
Polymer, Vol.51, No.12, 2721-2731, 2010
Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene with improved plasticity and toughness by high temperature melting
Our goal was to improve the strength and toughness of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHWMPE), which is the preferred polymeric bearing material in total joint implants. Based on accelerated diffusion of UHMWPE chains at high temperatures, our hypothesis was that high temperature melting could minimize the structural defects and thus improve the toughness of consolidated UHMWPE. Melting of consolidated medical-grade UHMWPE at 280, 300, and 320 degrees C in inert atmosphere improved the elongation at break, work-to-failure and impact strength, presumably due to chain scissioning and structural defect elimination through self-diffusion. An important finding of this study was that the gain in plasticity and toughness did not sacrifice the wear resistance under optimized melting conditions, which may be promising for next generation high performance UHMWPE materials for joint implant bearing surfaces. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.