Comparison of Experimental Measurements and Finite Element Predictions of Contact Mechanics of Metal-on-Polyethylene Total Hip Replacement
Metal-on-ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) total hip replacement (THR) has been the most
popular and clinically successful hip prosthesis to date. The long-term performance of THR depends on both the tribological
characteristics and biomechanical behaviour of the prosthesis. Experimental approaches have the limitations of high costs,
time-consuming and complex. Therefore, a simplified finite element model was developed to compare the measured contact
areas and contact pressures from experimental model. The contact areas on the articulating surface of polyethylene cup under
different loads were measured experimentally in self-made joint simulator and then maximum contact pressures were
calculated from these measurements according to Hertzian Contact Theory. Good agreements of contact areas and contact
pressures between finite element predictions from the simplified model and experimental measurements and calculations
were obtained. This indicated that the simplifications and assumptions made for the finite element model were reasonable
and finite element predictions from the simplified model were valid.
Keywords- Total Hip Replacement, Metal-on-Polyethylene, Contact Mechanics.