2015 Volume 56 Issue 3 Pages 317-326
The wear behaviors of combinations comprised of a new titanium alloy, Ti–29Nb–13Ta–4.6Zr (TNTZ) and a conventional titanium alloy, Ti–6Al–4V extra-low interstitial (Ti64) were investigated using ball-on-disc type configuration in Ringer’s solution for metal-to-metal contacting biomedical implant applications. The worn surfaces, wear debris, and subsurface damage were analyzed using a scanning electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive spectroscopy and an electron probe microanalysis. Moreover theses wear characteristics are compared to the results obtained from the wear tests in air. Volume loss of both the disc and ball primarily increases for the TNTZ disc/TNTZ ball combination in Ringer’s solution compared to that in air. This increase can be explained by the ejection of debris from the contact region induced by the presence of Ringer’s solution. Subsequently, this increases the number of areas with asperity junctions between the disc and ball, thereby leading to severe delamination wear. In contrast, the volume loss of both the disc and ball decrease for the Ti64 disc/Ti64 ball combination in Ringer’s solution compared to that in air. It is believed that the predominately abrasive wear associated with Ti64 is effectively suppressed by the use of Ringer’s solution.