Improved resistance to wear and fatigue fracture in high pressure crystallized vitamin E-containing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene
Higher crystallinity and extended chain morphology are induced in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) in the hexagonal phase at temperatures and pressures above the triple point, resulting in improved mechanical properties. In this study, we report the effects of the presence of a plasticizing agent, namely vitamin E (α-tocopherol), in UHMWPE during high pressure crystallization. We found that this new vitamin E-blended and high pressure crystallized UHMWPE (VEHPE) has improved fatigue strength and wear resistance compared to virgin high pressure crystallized (HP) UHMWPE. This suggested different mechanisms of wear reduction and fatigue crack propagation resistance in UHMWPE.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 30, Issue 10, April 2009, Pages 1870–1880