Mapping tribo-corrosion behaviour of TI-6AL-4V Eli in laboratory simulated hip joint environments

Rasool, Ghulam and El Shafei, Yousuf and Stack, Margaret M. (2020) Mapping tribo-corrosion behaviour of TI-6AL-4V Eli in laboratory simulated hip joint environments. Lubricants, 8 (7). 69. ISSN 2075-4442 (

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Wear and corrosion in artificial hip replacements are known to result in metal ion release and wear debris induced osteolysis. This may lead to pain and sensitivity for patients. This infers that pre-clinical testing is critical in determining the long-term performance, safety, and reliability of the implant materials. For this purpose, micro-abrasion-corrosion tests were carried out on a biocompatible material, Ti-6Al-4V ELI, using a T-66, Plint micro-abrasion test rig in conjunction with Gill Ac corrosion testing apparatus for the range of applied loads and electrical potentials in the hip joint simulated environment. A Ringer's solution, with and without an abrasive particle (silicon carbide), was used to enable the interactions between abrasion and corrosion. In this paper, the effects of applied load and electrochemical potential on the tribo-corrosion behaviour of Ti-6Al-4V in a bio-simulated environment are presented. The wastage, micro-abrasion-corrosion mechanisms, and synergy behaviour were identified and mapped. A significant difference in corrosion current densities was observed in the presence of abrasive particles, suggesting the removal of the protective oxide layer. The results also indicate that Ti-6Al-4V had significant abrasive wear loss when coupled with a ceramic counterpart. According to the mechanism, micro-abrasion plays a predominant role in the abrasion-corrosion behaviour of this material and the material losses by mechanical processes are substantially larger than losses, due to electrochemical processes.