Improving fretting corrosion resistance of CoCrMo alloy with TiSiN and ZrN coatings for orthopedic applications.

Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials(2020)

Cited 15|Views25
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Total hip replacement is the most effective treatment for late stage osteoarthritis. However, adverse local tissue reactions (ALTRs) have been observed in patients with modular total hip implants. Although the detailed mechanisms of ALTRs are still unknown, fretting corrosion and the associated metal ion release from the CoCrMo femoral head at the modular junction has been reported to be a major factor. The purpose of this study is to increase the fretting corrosion resistance of the CoCrMo alloy and the associated metal ion release by applying hard coatings to the surface. Cathodic arc evaporation technique (arc-PVD) was used to deposit TiSiN and ZrN hard coatings on CoCrMo substrates. The morphology, chemical composition, crystal structures and residual stress of the coatings were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometry. Hardness, elastic modulus, and adhesion of the coatings were measured by nano-indentation, nano-scratch test, and the Rockwell C test. Fretting corrosion resistance tests of coated and uncoated CoCrMo discs against Ti6Al4V spheres were conducted on a four-station fretting testing machine in simulated body fluid at 1Hz for 1 million cycles. Post-fretting samples were analyzed for morphological changes, volume loss and metal ion release. Our analyses showed better surface finish and lower residual stress for ZrN coating, but higher hardness and better scratch resistance for TiSiN coating. Fretting results demonstrated substantial improvement in fretting corrosion resistance of CoCrMo with both coatings. ZrN and TiSiN decreased fretting volume loss by more than 10 times and 1000 times, respectively. Both coatings showed close to 90% decrease of Co ion release during fretting corrosion tests. Our results suggest that hard coating deposition on CoCrMo alloy can significantly improve its fretting corrosion resistance and could thus potentially alleviate ALTRs in metal hip implants.
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