Investigation of shear thinning by microstructuring

Cooperative project 4.2

The cooperative project "wear-optimized hip endoprostheses" is part of the regional growth project MikroLas. The joint project consists of three subprojects. The subproject "Investigation of shear thinning by microstructuring" focuses on the investigation of rheological processes in the lubricating gap of microstructured implant surfaces by developing a measuring methodology for the determination of shear thickening. With the microstructure of the implant surfaces, the project strives to reduce wear from a tribological point of view. The overall goal of the project involves the microstructuring of articulating endoprosthesis components in order to tribologically functionalize them and to influence the rheological properties of the lubricating film.
In Germany alone, about 180,000 hip operations are performed each year. An increase in the lifespan of the implants is therefore of great interest and should be realized by the reduction in wear. This wear reduction is possible by means of a surface structuring of the implant surface. Ultrashort laser pulses should therefore produce burr-free structures with dimensions in the range of a few micrometers on the surfaces, which fulfill two functions. On the one hand, the microstructures serve to maintain the tribologically valuable lubricating film and, on the other hand, they are intended to absorb and render harmless abrasion particles which occur in the lubricating gap of the endoprosthesis and induce the so-called three-body wear. Both aspects are intended to increase the service life of hip endoprostheses.

Contact: Dr.-Ing. Philipp Drescher

Duration: 9/2017 –8/2020

Funded by: PtJ – Projektträger Jülich