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Titanium alloys (Ti-6Al-4V) are promising materials as bone implants in clinical surgeries owing to their excellent performances. However, wear debris caused by the tribological behavior of the cortical bone and titanium alloy interface were found to be paramount for implant stability. The contact environment between the cortical bone and Ti-6Al-4V in vivo has been considered to affect the tribological behavior. Currently, the tribological behaviors of bone and Ti-6Al-4V in different biolubricants remain elusive. Therefore, in this work, the tribological behaviors of Ti-6Al-4V plates sliding against bovine cortical bone were investigated in dry sliding and in biolubricants of physiological saline (PS), simulated body fluids (SBF), and fetal bovine serum (FBS). Results show that the friction coefficient and wear rate of the bovine cortical bone and Ti-6Al-4V interface exhibit the same sequence as follows: FBS > SBF > PS > dry sliding. These results are attributed to bone hardness variation and corrosion of different biolubricants. Meanwhile, the effects of normal load and velocity on the tribological behavior of bone and Ti-6Al-4V interface were also investigated in dry sliding and three different biolubricants. Results show that as the normal load is increased and the sliding velocity is decreased, the friction coefficient decreases in dry condition, adhering to the Hertz contact theory. However, according to the boundary lubrication theory, the friction coefficient in three biolubricants correlates positively to the normal load and negatively to the sliding velocity. Moreover, the wear rates of the bone samples increase with the increase in normal load and sliding velocity under dry and biolubrication conditions. Finally, the characterization results indicate that the wear mechanisms of the cortical bone and Ti-6Al-4V interface in dry friction are primarily adhesive and abrasive wear. Further, corrosive wear occurs in biolubrications, apart from adhesive and abrasive wear.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
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