Wear properties of UHMWPE oriented under uniaxial compression during the molten state and at lower temperatures than the melting point

Makoto Ohta, Suong Hyu Hyon, Yu Bong Kang, Masanori Oka, Sadami Tsutsumi, Syozo Murakami, Shinzo Kohjiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been used as a bearing material for artificial joints since the 1960's, and experience has shown that its wear is one of the limiting factors for long term use in such prosthetic implants. For improving wear resistance, we studied the influence of uniaxial compression on molecule orientation obtained by processing UHMWPE above (Sample A) and below (Sample B) its melting point, respectively. We then compared the wear properties of both UHMWPE samples. Using a slightly cross-linked UHMWPE, sample A was compressed during the molten state. Sample B UHMWPE was compressed at a temperature below the melting point. X-ray refraction tests revealed the (200) crystalline plane of Sample A and B to be oriented parallel to the compression surface. Further tests showed the heat of fusion and the density of Sample A to be higher than Sample B. The storage modulus of Sample A was always higher than in the original untreated UHMWPE (Sample C), while in Sample B it rapidly collapsed with increasing temperature. The αc-peak of Sample A was shifted to about 5°C higher, while the αc-peak of Sample B was shifted to the lower temperature side and the β-peak disappeared, compared with Sample C. Reciprocating wear tests carried out over 2 × 106 cycles, showed that the wear resistance of the sample A was enhanced by a factor of 10 when compared to Sample C. UHMWPE compressed during the molten state exhibits superior wear characteristics and has the potential to improve implant technology for artificial joints, potentially providing a longer lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1303
Number of pages7
JournalJSME International Journal, Series C: Mechanical Systems, Machine Elements and Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial joint
  • Compression
  • Cross-link
  • Orientation
  • Tribology
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Wear properties of UHMWPE oriented under uniaxial compression during the molten state and at lower temperatures than the melting point'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this