J.A. Puértolas, V. Martínez-Nogués, M.J. Martínez-Morlanes, M.D. Mariscal, F.J. Medel, C. López-Santos, F. Yubero
Wear, 269 (2010) 458-465
Hydrogenated diamond like carbon (DLCH) thin films were deposited on medical grade ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) by radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The DLCH coating thicknesses ranged from 250 to 700 nm. The substrates were disks made of UHMWPEs typically used for soft components in artificial joints, namely virgin GUR 1050 and highly crosslinked (gamma irradiated in air to 100 kGy) UHMWPEs. Mechanical and tribological properties under bovine serum lubrication at body temperature were assessed on coated and uncoated polyethylenes by means of nano-hardness and ball-on-disk tests, respectively. Morphological features of the worn surfaces were obtained by confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. This study confirms an increase in surface hardness and good wear resistance for coated materials after 24 h of sliding test compared to uncoated polyethylene. These results point out that to coat UHMWPE with DLCH films could be a potential method to reduce backside wear in total hip and knee arthroplasties.